An image of Jamie Harrington, a teenager in Dublin, Ireland, has been shared on the Humans of Dublin Facebook page for a very important reason: He once prevented a stranger’s suicide, simply by stopping to as if the man was okay.
Harrington explains his story to HoD, recalling his encounter one evening with a stranger who was sitting on a bridge:
“I was just on my way to the American sweet shop to buy some Gatorade, when I saw this guy in his 30s sitting on the ledge of the bridge,” Harrington says in his interview. “I stopped and asked him if he was okay … I pleaded with him for a while to come down and sit on the steps, and eventually he did.”
Harrington says that the man talked to him about his life and why he felt driven to considering suicide. The teen then insisted that the man go to St. James Hospital, and called an ambulance. He then got the man’s number, so he could check in on him later.
The story gets an even happier ending, though.
“About three months ago, he texted me that his wife is pregnant, they’re having a boy, and they’re naming him after me,” Harrington said. “Can you believe that? They’re going to name their child after me … He said in that moment that I approached him, he was just about to jump, and those few words saved his life. That they’re still ringing in his head every day. ‘Are you okay?'”
Here’s hoping that Harrington’s experience might inspire more people to never be afraid to take a moment and ask someone how he or she is doing. You never know how much it could mean to that person.