Three young boys in southern England are being hailed heroes after their quick actions in a moment of crisis saved a desperate man’s life.
Devonte Cafferky, 13, Sammy Farah, 14, and Shawn Young, 12, were walking home from school when they noticed something on an overpass up ahead that left them cold.
A man was sitting on the edge of the bridge, about to jump off and take his own life.
Immediately, the boys ran over and wrapped their arms around him, refusing to let him go.
At first, the man tried to tell them to leave him alone, but the brave young boys refused to listen. They reminded him that he had a family and his whole life ahead of him.
“He was crying and wiping his eyes,” the boys recalled. “We said, ‘You’ve got family, it’s not worth it.’”
Shawn called the police as the other boys continued to hold the man. Even after he began to pass out and get very heavy, they refused to let go.
Two other passers-by also came over to help, one of whom was 47-year-old Joanne Stammers, who suffers from Klippel–Trénaunay syndrome, a rare disability that leaves her highly prone to blood clotting. Despite this, she took over for the boys and clung to the man “for what feels like forever,” leaving her arms covered in bruises.
Another man, James Higlett, also came over and helped with the rescue.
All five of the rescuers will receive awards from the Royal Humane Society, a charity which promotes life-saving intervention.
The heroic young boys have quickly become national heroes. Shawn’s mom, Carol, could not be prouder of her son and his friends.
“They were coming from school and loitering around, Shawn was telling them to hurry up,” she said. “If they had been messing around a bit longer, who knows what they would have come and met instead? I feel like they were meant to be there to help him.”
“I am extremely proud of all three of them,” she added, “they are all good boys and it’s nice that they are getting recognized for doing something good in the community.
“Quite often in the national news there are a lot of negative reports about young people so it is nice to have something positive. They are very young and I marvel at how they are all dealing with it.”
She said she hopes other young people will hear their story and be inspired to do the same if they ever face a similar situation.
“It’s amazing to get this award, it’s obviously under sad circumstances but it’s also great that the kids are getting something for what they did,” Carol said. “I am really pleased for them and I hope other children can see it’s worth stopping to help someone.”
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