A boy who saved the life of a suicidal man by simply asking him “Are you okay?” has said he did it because he likes to help people who need help.
Jamie Harrington, from Ballymun, Dublin, told the Humans of Dublin project about a meeting with a man in his 30s sitting on the edge of a bridge and about to jump off it.
After sitting down and speaking to the stranger for 45 minutes, 16-year-old Jamie persuaded the man to go to hospital and seek treatment.
The unnamed man is now expecting a baby boy with his wife, who they will name after the teenager.
Jamie told: “It was just instinct to help that man and now lots of people around the world know about it.
“I hope it makes people open their eyes to what is going on around them.
“I like to help people who need help.”
Jamie’s story has since attracted more than 33,000 likes on the Humans of Dublin Facebook page and been shared by thousands online.
Jamie wrote in his post: “I stopped and asked him if he was okay, but I knew from the look in his eyes he wasn’t, and he didn’t say anything either, but I saw tears coming from his eyes.
“I pleaded with him for a while to come down and sit on the steps, and eventually he did.
“We sat on the sidewalk on the south side of the Liffey and talked for about 45 minutes, about what was happening to him, why was he feeling that way…”I couldn’t leave him there alone, but I had to go, so I was going to ring an ambulance. I told him they could help him feel better.
“But he was like ‘please, please don’t call them, I’m fine, I just want to walk around for a while, I’m gonna be okay!’
“I told him to please let me ring an ambulance, that I wouldn’t sleep knowing he was just walking around alone. So I rang it and he was taken to St. James Hospital.”
Jamie exchanged phone numbers with the man, who contacted him three months later with the news of his wife’s pregnancy.
“He said in that moment that I approached him, he was just about to jump, and those few words saved his life” Jamie continued in the post.
“That they’re still ringing in his head every day.’Are you okay?’
“I can’t really understand how these few words could save his life, but he told me, ‘imagine if nobody ever asked you those words’.”
The teenager is a youth ambassador for Dublin2020, the city’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2020, the project which brought him into contact with Humans of Dublin.