I posed this question on our station Facebook page yesterday, and I don’t think I was ready for some of the answers!
Everything from the actions of regular people in extraordinary situations, to saving people from suicide, to rescuing children from pools and lakes, to the stories of everyday heroes like soldiers and nurses.
Here are a few that popped out to me.
In 1985, I was serving in the US Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada. My brother had come out to visit me and we went to Lake Mead. He was swimming with a friend and I was filming them on an old Betamax camcorder. The wind whipped up out of nowhere and the waves swamped them both. My brother was a good 100 yards out from shore. His friend had just made it back to shore. I dropped the camera and went in after him. It took a lot of effort but I finally got him back to shore. They took him to a local immediate care facility and released him later that night
1972, South Korea,
I’m a combat medic, a GI pass out on the ground , I noticed and ran, looked at him , was turning blue in the face, noticed he was swallowing his tongue, had swallowed some downers ( pills) as they were referred to at the time pushed his head backward pried his mouth open with the help of another G I and made him breathe again ………the rest is history….. although his mouth clinched again on my fingers and I still have his teeth marks.
One of my best friends collapsed at her bachelorette party (before it really got started), 911 was called and myself and another friend performed CPR. Found out later it had saved her life. First time I had ever performed CPR. Glad it was for a person so dear to me.
My brother-in-law did the Heimlich maneuver on me when I was choking on a carrot.. that thing flew out
Had a friend that was about to end his life…called me at 2am…thank god i woke up and headed right to his place…he is still alive today\
Day before Thanksgiving 2009 my co-worker Catherine visited me. She was concerned about injury I suffered at work. I told her it was just a pulled leg muscle and it would heal by itself in a couple of days. She ordered me to drop my pants and ordered me to seek medical treatment immediately. Just to pacify her i went to ER st St Alexius on Barrington Rd knowing they would tell me it was merely a pulled muscle and let me go to enjoy home cooked Thanksgiving dinner at my best friend’s house next day. To my surprise I was loaded onto a gurney and rushed into OR. When I came to several doctors were conferring over me in hushed tones. I asked them what are they talking about and the head doctor told me:
“We’re just trying to figure out why you’re not dead”
I had suffered a blood clot which had resulted in a pulmonary embolism…..
(This next one is a bit graphic)
I was working as an MP in Panama back in 1982. I received a “check the well being” call at an off base housing area called Coco Solo. It was for another enlisted man who was having marital issues and hadn’t shown up for duty that day. I arrived and knocked on the door several times and received no answer and the door was locked. When I informed the radio operator he pointedly stated “trash it”. It was a very strong door and took a couple of tries but it split down the middle and I entered the apartment. The air was on and it smelled like a meat room at the market. There was a large amount of blood in n a trail from the bedroom down the hall to the kitchen, on and into the refrigerator ( he wasn’t bleeding fast enough so he got something alcoholic to assist). I followed the blood to the bathroom where he was sitting in the bathtub in bloody water just waiting to die. He had used a steak knife and a pair of needle nose pliars to cut and dig for a main “bleeder” on both wrists, the inside of his arms by his biceps, his ankles, the leg behind his knee area, and finally he’s neck on both sides of his throat… he was just sitting there waiting to die. I used the first aid pads in my pouch on my belt for his neck as they looked the most damaging and wrapped his wrists with towels and nd waited for the ambulance. Saw him a few months later and he thanked me for saving him. I can still see it all as if it happened yesterday.
I find these stories inspiring and important to share because I think that is shows us that in spite of our superficial differences, when the fit hits the shan, to do what is necessary for perfect strangers.
At the end of the day, we have each others back when it really matters.