Hometown USA Heroics

The 9/11 citizen heroes aboard that fourth aircraft, commandeered by Islamic thugs on that death-dealing, nation-shocking day, chose to die in a courageous, phenomenal effort to stop that guided-missile of a plane from its planned intention to strike our Capitol Building or even the White House. Too many great American lives were lost in a Pennsylvania field that day, but countless lives on the ground and even more national destruction were prevented by those heroic patriots.  History has, and will continue to, remember the bravery and sacrifice delivered to our nation that day.  Along, of course, with the incredible number of fire fighters and other first responders who gave their lives in hopes of saving others on that dark and painful day in America’s history.

Thankfully, far more often quieter, but nonetheless impressive, heroics happen around our great country every day, most never making, or seemingly even meriting, broad media attention.  One such instance took place recently at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Louisiana.  You’ll recall that the Category 4 winds (up to 150mph!) of Hurricane LAURA tore through the Lake Charles area creating enormous damage and loss.  Little known at the time, there were 19 babies in ICU at Lake Charles Memorial.  Some were preemies, others were on respirators.  And who would care for all of them throughout the massive storm, amidst major, region-wide, evacuations?  Heroically, a team of 20 incredibly dedicated medical personnel, doctors, nurses, and technicians, remained behind, regardless of the danger raging outside, to be certain those infants were kept alive and stable, “despite leaky windows, no air conditioning, and no running water”! All survived, the medical folks and the babies.  Trained professionals living up to their medical oaths and personal commitments to care for others, regardless.  There have, of course, been countless stories of such professional sacrifice exhibited during the course of that other “storm,” the on-going and deadly COVID-19 epidemic!

Buckle-in for this one.  Over a five-year period, a 40-year-old woman in Alabama had been arrested many times in the past for drug and theft charges. A former police officer in their small town had put her in jail on two of those occasions.  After eventually spending six-months in a half-way house, the woman finally realized the path she was on would eventually be the death of her (literally), and she somehow found the strength, through that extended stay, to turn her life around. Recently, then, she had celebrated eight-years of sobriety and no jail!

In the fall of 2019, the police officer mentioned above had retired from the force, only to discover that his kidney function was low and approaching zero.  No question, he was in desperate need of a kidney transplant.  Doctors had advised him that his wait could be as long as 8-years!  The former office simply did not have that kind of time, given his dire condition. His search for a replacement kidney was posted on Facebook.  You might already be guessing the improbable direction this search would take.

Incredibly, the woman whom he had jailed twice in the past, somehow saw his FB appeal, and recognized his name!  With her life now in a good place, in prayer, she realized what she had to do.  She underwent the necessary predictive tests.  Incredibly, she was a match! Not only that, but the doctors performing the dual surgeries informed her that “they’d never had a better match for a kidney transplant.”

Both came through the procedure in good and renewed shape.  Said the retired officer after recovery: “If you asked me for 100 names of who might give me a kidney, her name would have not been on the list.  It’s just unbelievable that she was willing to do that.”  Both the officer and the woman have since become close friends, linked by a life-saving, and thus life-giving, gift.  She credits this former officer who had put her in jail for what became a much-needed step toward her eventual recovery to a productive life. As such, she has for several years, now, worked with other women to help them overcome their own addictions, credited with aiding over 500 women along their road to recovery.  Just a great story for these two improbable friends, both of whom know well that God had played the key role in bringing them together in this normally unimaginable life-sharing way.

And finally, for this edition, just this week, a story of some Brooklyn, NY firefighters involved in action well apart from their normal role.  Seems a young, self-confident, and pompous young man, more precisely, a jerk, was riding his bike along the sidewalk there, when he approached from behind, an elderly woman walking along. As he rode by her, he reached out and punched her in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. And off he rode, leisurely.  That would have been the end of the story, except for the inconvenient fact that he had hit the woman near the open overhead doors of that Brooklyn fire station, in full view of several firemen there.  As the mounted store cameras video would clearly show, without hesitation, four of the guys raced out of their fire house after that jerk-on-a-bike.  They rapidly caught up with that leisurely pedaling bike rider, pulled him down to the ground, and held him until the police arrived to make the arrest. That young punk is likely facing some jail time, since the fist-hit to the woman (her condition unknown), and the firefighters’ subsequent take-down, were all fully captured on those, thank heavens, outside store cameras!  Major thanks to those quick-reacting NYC firemen who did absolutely the instinctively-correct thing to help make a right out of a very definite wrong.


(Lake Charles storm babies data via dailycaller.com, Jordan Lancaster, 9-1-20; Kidney gift data via dailymail.com, Frances Mulraney, 9-5-20; Firemen to the rescue data via nypost.com, Craig McCarthy & Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, 9-8-20).