Three brave schoolboys found suicidal man about to jump off bridge – they grabbed him and didn’t let go.

In this fast changing world, there are still humans who care about others and these young boys are not left out.
They have not only won the hearts of many but they just saved a life.


How It Happened

It all happens when Devonte, Sammy and Shawn were returning from school when they found themselves in a tight corner.

A man with a heavy heart was sitting on the edge of an overpass with a rope around his neck showing indication of suicide.

Devonte Cafferkey, 13, Sammy Farah, 14, and Shawn Young, just 12 at the time, didn’t panic.

The boys filled with heroism and compassion backed by their logical thinking did not leave any stones unturned. The students of St. Mary’s High School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire saved the man’s life.

They Tried Talking Him Out

The brave boys tried talking the man out of the idea of killing himself. The man was at the edge of the bridge but when he tried jumping, the boys did not waste any time in grabbing him. They held on to him and never let him go.

One of them Shawn calmly called out for help, two passers-by came to their aid and the suicidal man was rescued.

The three boys are now to be recognised nationally for their bravery at the A10 overpass in Waltham Cross, last September.


Shawn’s Mum

Shawn’s mum, Carol, has been amazed at the boys’ maturity and said they have “just got on with it” since their life-saving efforts. The boys all attend St Mary’s High School .

“They were coming from school and loitering around, Shawn was telling them to hurry up,” said the 52-year-old.

“If they had been messing around a bit longer, who knows what they would have come and met instead?

“I feel like they were meant to be there to help him.

“Shawn told me what happened when he came home.

“I let him finish the whole story and the whole way through I was smiling because there was nothing I could add to it.

“While trying to keep the man back and talk him out of suicide, he passed the boys his mobile phone saying ‘if it rings, don’t answer it’.”

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The Passers-By

One of the passers-by 47-year-old Joanne Stammers, who is registered disabled with Klippel–Trénaunay syndrome, a rare disability that makes her highly prone to blood clotting. Joanne also helped in the rescue of the suicidal man.

Despite her condition, which prevents her from working, Joanne took over from the boys and held onto the man “for what feels like forever” and was left with bruising all over her arms.

The second man, James Higlett, also contributed to saving the man from going to the great beyond.

All five will receive awards from the Royal Humane Society, a charity promoting life-saving intervention.


I Am Proud Of The Boys

Shawn’s mum Carol is proud of the boys’ behaviour.

She said: “I am extremely proud of all three of them, they are all good boys and it’s nice that they are getting recognized for doing something good in the community.

“Quite often in the national news there are a lot of negative reports about young people so it is nice to have something positive.

“They are very young and I marvel at how they are all dealing with it.”

Joanne still visits her mum once a week.

“Every time I speak to them I learn something new about what happened.

“For example, the man was passing out and got heavier for them, I didn’t know that until recently.”

Jacqueline Cafferkey, Devonte’s mum, found out the good news a couple of weeks ago and described it as a “huge achievement.”

Achievement Awards

The three boys picked up Special Achievement Awards at the Broxbourne Youth Awards for their bravery. Joanne described the award as a “great honour” and said she is still in touch with Jacqueline.

“It’s amazing to get this award, it’s obviously under sad circumstances but it’s also great that the kids are getting something for what they did,” she said.

“I am really pleased for them and I hope other children can see it’s worth stopping to help someone.”

Joanne, who was on her way back from visiting her mum in Waltham Cross when she saw Shawn calling for help, told the Hertfordshire Mercury she “hates” going under the bridge now and avoids it when she can.

She still sees her mum once a week and pays special attention to any bridge she goes under now to make sure nobody is standing by the edge.

The heroes that day were nominated for these awards by Hertfordshire Police.

A date for the awards presentation has not yet been set. They are to be nationally recognized for their bravery and compassion.


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What do you think of the actions of these three young boys ?

How can we train other boys to be brave when they face tough situations ?

Have you seen any boy in your area display such act of valor ?

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