One evening my wife was travelling home in our car with our 3 month old baby in a baby seat next to her, as she approached a roundabout she saw it was clear. She pulled out, but as she did so she saw a light and looked towards it and there just about to impact was a large van (Ford Transit) as the van slammed into our car my wife knew our daughter had born the brunt of the impact and would have suffered terrible injuries.
Screaming, my wife was dragged from our car by a witness to the accident, she tried to get back to the car but the man wouldn't let her. When she finally composed herself enough to tell him about our daughter he looked horrified as the engine bay of the car was starting to smoulder. He reassured my wife that he would help and she said to me that she knew he meant it and she felt instantly calmed.
The man tried in vain to free the child seat that had cocooned our daughter, but it was stuck steadfast pinned in by the crushed bodywork. As flames started to show from under the bonnet the man climbed into the car, his attempts becoming more desperate. Within minutes the flames were becoming more and more violent, other witnesses tried to help but they were beaten back by the heat from the flames.
By the time the fire engine had turned up the car was well and truly alight and my wife was sure both our daughter and the heroic man had perished. The fire was extinguished and the ambulance crew took the lifeless bodies of the man and our daughter from the wreck.
My wife rang me to let me know what had happened and I met her at the hospital, she told me about the man who had tried all he could for our daughter and I felt I had to see him to say Thanks. The hospital staff told me he was in a serious condition, but I had to say Thanks to him.
I walked into the room where he was and was shocked to see a man so badly burned being kept alive by machines, the pain he must have felt would have been awful but he remained steadfast in that burning car.
Our daughter wasn't too good she was suffering from smoke inhalation and burns. She was on Oxygen for 2 days all the while the hero who saved her life was just a few rooms down in the same hospital, every day I stopped by him to see how he was going, the nurses had tried to find records of his next of kin to notify them about his fragile state but they could find nothing, It came to light that he was a tramp sleeping rough in the area.
The stronger our daughter became the weaker the trap became and 5 days after he saved our daughters life he passed away. The doctors treating our baby told us that without the man doing what he did she would not have survived the flames.
I felt so touched by the incredible bravery shown by this complete stranger to my family, then remembered that I have always thrown a few pennies to the homeless people I see, I think that he was a guardian angel who acted because I showed no prejudice to the homeless.
He paid the ultimate price but he will always have a home now...in our hearts.
Please remember the next time you pass by a tramp, they are a person and they are capable of great things.
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