Three boys were walking home from school when they found themselves in the midst of a harrowing and scary situation.
Devonte Cafferkey, 13, Sammy Farah, 14, and Shawn Young, just 12 at the time, were heading home when they found a troubled man sitting on the edge of a bridge with a rope around his neck.
It was clear what the man was about to do; he was going to jump and hang himself from the bridge. However, despite the situation and their tender age, the boys didn’t panic. Instead, they stayed calm and saved the man’s life.
Through quick thinking, heroism and a large amount of compassion, the boys, who study at St Mary’s High School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, UK, were able to prevent a tragedy.
They tried to talk the man round and get him away from the edge of the bridge, and then, when he went to jump, they grabbed onto him and refused to let go.
Shawn calmly rang for help and two passers-by noticed what was happening and came to aide the boys until the man was eventually rescued.
Now, as a result of their bravery, the three friends are set to be recognised nationally.
Speaking about the incident, Shawn’s mom, Carol, says that she is amazed by their maturity and the fact that they have “just got on with it” since it all happened.
“They were coming from school and loitering around, Shawn was telling them to hurry up,” said the 52-year-old. “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.
“Shawn told me what happened when he came home.
“I let him finish the whole story and the whole way through I was smiling because there was nothing I could add to it.
“While trying to keep the man back and talk him out of suicide, he passed the boys his mobile phone saying ‘if it rings, don’t answer it’.”
The teenagers were helped by Joanna Stammers. a 47-year-old woman who is registered as disabled due to suffering from Kippel-Trénaunay syndrome, a rare disability that leaves her highly prone to blood clotting.
Despite the fact that her condition leaves her unable to work, Joanna took over from the boys and held the man “for what feels like forever,” leaving bruises all over her arms. Another man, James Higlett, also assisted in the rescue mission.
All five will receive awards from the Royal Humane Society, a charity which promotes life-saving intervention.
Carol says that she is very proud of the boys and the way they have dealt with everything:
“I am extremely proud of all three of them, they are all good boys and it’s nice that they are getting recognised 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.”
It’s a harrowing experience for the boys to endure, but through their actions, they managed to keep the man alive. They are true heroes who should walk around with their heads held high.