Jamie Harington, 16, of Dublin, was walking to the nearest soda store when he saw a man in his 30s sitting on the parapet of a bridge, facing the river. All in all, many people would have walked by on their own business, but the guy saw the stranger crying.
Jamie called out to him:
“Hey, are you all right?”
The man was silent.
“It took me a while to get him to get down and sit next to me on the steps. Eventually he listened to me. We talked to him for at least 45 minutes after that,” Jamie says.
After a while, the teenager realized it was time to go after all, but he was afraid to leave the man in such an unstable condition alone. It took a few more minutes to convince the man to call an ambulance. He asked not to call an ambulance and assured me that he would just sit for a while and go home.
“I told him I couldn’t sleep peacefully unless I made sure he was all right,” Jamie explained, and called an ambulance.
When the ambulance crew arrived, Jamie exchanged phone numbers with the man so he could call him if he needed to.
The story would not have gained notoriety had it not been for three months later.
Three months later, the failed suicide bomber texted Jamie to thank him. He told him that his wife was pregnant, they were expecting a boy, and they had decided to name their son after the young man who had saved his life.
Jamie was so moved that he shared it on social media:
“Can you believe it? They’re going to name the baby after me!”
His post garnered 40,000 likes and went viral on the Internet.
The man admitted to his rescuer afterward that it was the question, “Are you okay?” that made him stop. No one had ever been interested in how he was feeling, much less strangers.
“I didn’t do anything supernatural, and I really don’t understand why the story became so popular,” Jamie admits. “I’m just a normal teenager, and I just wanted to help. I never would have thought before that one question could save a person’s life. He needed someone to talk to, and I just happened to be there to give him the opportunity.”