A young man was dying in front of me and I was unarmed and ill-prepared to deal with it.
My two-block walk home from work is more routine than memorable. Like I'm on autopilot. That would change when this beautiful, sunny day quickly took a dark turn.
As I was walking south on Jarvis St, I glanced across the street to see a woman huddled over a man. He was lying in the middle of the sidewalk. She was frantic, yelling at him and smacking her hands on the ground.
She was causing quite a commotion.
I looked around. To my surprise, nobody reacted. A man casually passed by. Others carried on with their commutes, sunglasses and earbuds blocking out reality; life continued just as life stopped.
I crossed the street in support of the woman who was yelling at the man repeatedly; "Hello! Excuse me, sir. Are you awake?!”
As he lay motionless, the woman tells me she was biking behind him and saw him collapse to the ground.
I dialled 911. I also noticed the woman was wearing a food delivery shirt. On her bike was a pack of food. I could tell she was conflicted on whether to stay or go. Someone, after all, could complain about a late food delivery, I thought.
I told her I would stay with the man if there was somewhere she needed to be. Then I looked down at the lifeless body. He was a teenage boy. Likely only 18 years old. My heart sank and I started to panic. Was this young man dying in front of me? He was unconscious and barely breathing.
Suddenly, a young couple rushed in. The lady kneeled down, opened her purse and pulled out a pack of Naloxone. Shakily, she ripped open the packaging, read the instructions and sprayed the bottle up the young man’s nose.
He moved slightly and made a grunting noise. A life was saved!
As we sighed in relief, I asked the lady why she had Naloxone in her purse. "I watched someone overdose and die a few months ago,” she said. “I’ve carried this with me ever since.”
That day I learned, you can carry with you the guilt of doing nothing or you can carry Naloxone.
We created 'The Power of 1', a free eBook, to encourage others to make a difference. The Power Of 1 is about changing your world and, in the process and for the better, changing the world of those around you. It's about achievable change, beginning inside oneself and building outward. Think of it as GIGO 2.0; Good In, Good Out.
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