Watch what 52 year old New York city bus driver Stephen St. Bernard did while walking home from work on Monday:
When I was a kid, I remember hearing about St. Bernards that rescued people stranded in the Alps using their noses and a little barrel full of brandy.
Stephen St. Bernard chose to use compassion, courage, and his arms. Witnesses say 7 year old Kayla McCree, who is autistic, was singing and dancing atop the air conditioner when St. Bernard spotted her.
“I went over there to make sure if she fell I could catch her,” said St. Bernard. “I’m not a hero — anybody would have done it. I did it out of normal instincts.”
First, what a treat it was to find this story in a narrow newspaper column which contained two other “in brief” stories titled “Missing Girls’ Scent Detected Near Lake” and “Arpaio’s Group Continues Obama Birth Probe.”
It’s nice to see it’s not all doom and gloom (and bigotry and stupidity – c’mon, Arpaio, really? Even Donald Trump’s given up on the birther crap).
Second, was this really just a case of “normal instincts,” as St. Bernard suggests? Would everyone do what he did? I hope so, but it’s only hope…
Third, St. Bernard didn’t just save one life. He saved the lives of Kayla’s parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and teachers and acquaintances. An ugly black cloud that would’ve shrouded their lives in misery never got the chance to descend.
“I just prayed that I’d catch her,” recalled St. Bernard. “‘Please let me catch her, please let me catch her.’ That’s all I could say.”
Kayla was taken to a Coney Island hospital with minor injuries. St. Bernard, the father of four, suffered a torn tendon in his shoulder.
Wait a minute – that’s right – there are at least four more people whose lives were improved by what St. Bernard did: his kids. Perhaps the bus driver was already a hero to them – a kind, caring father – I don’t know, but now they get to go to school and brag and show off a little 29 second video of exactly what kind of man their father is.
“I think about my daughter,” reflected St. Bernard, “and you know, she’s a little kid.”
Show off, kids, show off. Dad deserves it.