I want to share the story of scene I witnessed, but first I want share with you what I was thinking about when I saw it happen.
Last week, a mysterious hero saved a man’s life after he fell onto the subway tracks in New York. The man fell off the platform onto the tracks and the hero jumped down, picked him up, and put him back on the platform before an oncoming tram came. The hero board the next train, and seemed to slip into anonymity. Eventually the man came forward, Chad Lindsey of Manhattan, magazine proof reader and aspiring actor.
Of course that story brought to mind the story of Wesley Autrey, also of Manhattan. Two years ago, Mr. Autrey jumped onto the tracks and saved a young man who was having a seizure fit by holding him down in a shallow trough between the tracks. Mr. Autrey received international attention for his bravery, including a spot on David Letterman (see below) and New York’s Bronze Medallion. The New York Times editorialized that Mr. Autrey proved that Big City values were no worse than Small Town values. (I’ll add my own accolade: Mr Autrey has the world’s greatest accent, bar none.)
Both of these stories had me thinking of the time I witnessed a young mother at Jiyugaoka station here in Tokyo slip on the stairs decending to the platform and lose grip of her young child who briefly went flying through the air. An man of at least seventy years old lept into the air and caught the baby landed safely on his feet and carried the child to the screaming mother. A more extraordinary sight I had never seen.
The next day after reading about Mr. Lindsey and thinking back to Mr. Autrey and the elderly hero, once again saw an act of extreme heroism. An elderly woman with a very large backpack stepped onto the yellow stripe on the edge of the platform and was pulled to safety by a teenaged boy only just in time to avoid being hit by the oncoming train.
Have you witnessed an act of bravery or heroism on transit? Done one yourself? Been treated to one by a stranger? Share your stories below.