What Heroes are Made of!
A hero is someone who performs heroic acts. A heroic act being an action showing extreme courage; especially of actions courageously undertaken in desperation as a last resort. I like to think of a hero as being a man (or woman) who does what a man (or woman) has to do when the need arises. That is exactly what Stephen St. Bernard when he caught a 7-year old girl who fell from an air conditioning unit outside her parents 3rd floor apartment in Brooklyn, New York.
- An act undertaken in desperation.
- Please let me catch her, please let me catch her.
- St Bernard suffered a torn ligament in his shoulder from the impact.
- A true heroic act by a real good Samaritan.
An act undertaken in desperation.
Stephen was walking home from work when he saw the crowd gathering in front of the Coney Island Housing Complex. When he looked up, he saw a girl moving fearlessly around on top of an air conditioning unit. Some witnesses told the authorities later that the girl had pushed one of the accordion side covers open and crawled out on the unit. As Stephen stood there watching, the girl lost her balance and stared to plunge to the payment below. Without thinking, he sprinted over to the building, his arms outstretched to catch the girl before she impacted on the hard ground. He never hesitated for a second to consider the legal ramification that would befall him if he failed in his rescue attempt. All he saw was a child in desperate need of help and he acted.
Please let me catch her, please let me catch her.
Later, when asked by reporters what he was thinking as he rushed in to catch the falling child, he told them that the only thoughts running through his mind were, “Please let me catch her, please let me catch her. I just prayed that I'd catch her.”
St Bernard suffered a torn ligament in his shoulder from the impact.
St Bernard just like the dog rushed to the rescue without concern for his own safety. He caught the 7-year old girl in his arms, a special needs child, and held her in his arms until an ambulance arrived to take both of them to the Coney Island Hospital. The little girl suffered only minor cuts and bruises, probably suffered when she crawled on the air conditioner through that narrow opening. Stephen, a bus driver and the father of four, suffered a badly torn ligament in his shoulder.
A true heroic act by a real good Samaritan.
We live in a day and age when people are afraid to become involved for one reason or another. Some men will look the other way and keep walking when they see someone getting mugged for fear of being injured or killed if they step in, somehow I do not thing Stephen St Bernard would be one of them. Some people will not become involved because they are afraid of being sued if their attempts at rendering aide goes awry, Stephen is definitely not one of them. What we need are more citizens like Stephen St Bernard and few like the cowards that cowered safely behind closed doors as they watched Kitty Genovese being stabbed to death on March 13, 1964.
Stephen St Bernard, I salute you.