Starter – Would you save a stranger?
July 9, 2018
source BBC news
Will was the second person to be hit by a car driven by terrorist Masood on Westminster Bridge in 2017. Although the first man to find Will was too busy to stop, a Portuguese girl called Kristina held him until he was removed by the last ambulance to leave Westminster Bridge. His injuries proved more serious than anyone anticipated….would you stop to save a stranger?
And do you believe in angels?
By Claire Bates BBC News
9 July 2018
Will believes he was the second person to be struck by Masood’s car. He woke up to find himself lying in a wet gutter.
“I had a strong sensation of pain all over my body,” he says.
“I could see the London Eye and County Hall from where I was and I could hear a lot of panic and distress but I wasn’t really aware of what it was about.”
Cristina came across Will just a few minutes later.
“Will didn’t look badly injured but he was very confused. He was panicking because he had to go somewhere but he couldn’t remember where,” she says.
“I held him and hugged him and tried to keep him calm by asking him lots of questions. We were sitting on the kerb watching this awful scene, having a mundane conversation about his parents and his job.”
They waited as the paramedics dealt with the most urgent cases. Will had scrapes down his back and a mass of bruises down his leg and was taken to hospital in the last ambulance that left the bridge. There was no room for Cristina.
“I terribly wanted to go with him, but I knew it wasn’t my place as there was a young policeman, Special Constable Thomson, with him,” she says.
“Due to the chaos, no-one had asked me for my details, so I simply walked off the bridge.”
Cristina continued to believe it was an accident until she called her boyfriend. He told her it had been a terrorist attack and that she should head home.
Cycling back to her empty flat, she called Will’s firm to explain what had happened.
“I knew lots about him so I then tracked him down on Facebook and left a message saying, ‘I hope you’re OK, let me know.’
Meanwhile, Will’s condition began to worsen. As a lower-priority case he was left to sit in A&E as medics rushed around him. Then he began to feel nauseous.
“My speech started to go strange. I was trying to say things and the wrong word would come out. They put me in a wheelchair and I started throwing up. Every time they tried to lay me down I’d be sick.”
When police officers came to take away his clothes and bag, he tried to ask to keep his phone but struggled to express himself. The doctors began to seem concerned. Following X-rays and CT scans he was put in a head brace.
“The hospital staff had a sense of urgency and I thought, ‘Oh God what if I don’t come through this?'”
Due to the brace he could only see the ceiling. He remembers his parents arriving and having to peer over his trolley for him to see their faces.
Will was diagnosed with a carotid artery dissection – a tear in one of the arteries in his neck had allowed blood to enter the artery wall and split its layers, forming a blood clot. He was given medication to thin his blood and reduce his risk of having a stroke.
In hospital Will slowly regained his ability to walk. He was aware that people were talking about Westminster Bridge in hushed voices. He asked the hospital psychologist for details and he suggested they go through a newspaper article with Will’s father.
A month after the attack, Will was disappointed to learn that the police hadn’t found the woman who helped him. But the next day while checking Facebook, he spotted some messages from people not on his contacts list.
“I had one from a cousin and then I came across a message from Cristina that basically said, ‘You won’t remember me but I helped you on Westminster Bridge. Please let me know you’re OK.’
“I ran – well I hobbled – down the stairs and I read it to my mum and dad but I couldn’t finish it. They were both in tears.”
Will responded straight away and they arranged to meet.
“Cristina is very strong and supportive. She’s just a genuinely lovely person,” Will says, meeting her gaze.
“A friend of my mum was talking to her recently about people have angels. She thinks you were an angel for me that day.
“I’m very happy you chose to walk on to the bridge.”
Compare this story with Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. What des this teach us about agape love?