When you see someone about to commit suicide, what do you do? Probably get shocked into a stupor for some time? Well, three schoolkids from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire didn’t stop to think about what to do- they simply acted. Devonte Cafferkey-Wilson, Sami Farah, and Shawn Young, while returning from school, saw a man, deep in thought with a noose hanging around the neck. The man was sitting by the overpass and probably was about to jump.
This incident occurred on 21st September 2017.
In a burst of compassion that is invisible even in most adults, these children who study at St. Mary’s High School, tried to bring him back by coercing him with words. But when the man still tried to jump, the kids simply held on to him. They had no plans of letting him go.
As luck would have it, there were a couple of passers-by who came and helped them get the man down while Shawn rang for assistance. Now, these kids are about to be felicitated for their act of bravery and quick thinking at the A10 overhead pass at Waltham Cross.
The person most surprised was Shawn’s mother Carol who couldn’t believe her child showed such maturity and has been showing ever since that incident. The 52-year-old mentions how Shawn was asking others to buckle up and go after they were messing around. She wonders what would have happened if they hadn’t reached at that exact moment. Probably fate. And when he returned home and told her the entire story, she couldn’t help but have a big smile on her face.
They were assisted by one Joanne Stammers, a woman suffering from Klippel-Trenaunay (one that leads to her getting blood clots). Her bravery too didn’t get unnoticed, after she held onto the suicidal man with every fiber of her strength and got bruises to show for that. The other passerby was James Higlett, and he too helped the kids.
All of them would receive their awards from the Royal Humane Society, dedicated to the interventions that lead to lives being saved. Carol is delighted that they’re getting recognized for this, for the news usually doesn’t have many good things to say about the youth. She thinks it is a great thing that they are getting recognized for their compassion and hopes it encourages others as well.
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Jacqueline Cafferkey, the mother of Devonte is extremely proud of the kids and considers this to be a great achievement. The children were felicitated with Special Achievement Awards when they were invited to the Broxbourne Youth Award. Joanne finds this to be a huge honor but is pricked that it had to come under such extenuating circumstances. Yet, she is happy for the kids, who truly deserved this.
Joanne helped the kids after she found them shouting for help. She had just met her mother at Waltham Cross, and, in an interview with Hertfordshire Mercury, said she now hates walking underneath the bridge. This experience has made her careful to always look up towards any bridge to see if anyone was standing on the edge or not.
The kids are now finishing school and hope that their gesture has not only impacted the man they saved but also inspired others to be helpful instead of being bystanders.
Images: ITV News, mirror.co.uk