In the wake of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, we can take heart in one thing: Heroes who stepped up either in the midst of chaos or after the fact to do everything in their power to offer support and/or hope to the victims. One of the heroes' stories coming to light now is that of Matt Patterson, an off-duty firefighter who rushed to the aid of 7-year-old Jane Richard, an enthusiastic Irish dancer since she was 3 and the sister of 8-year-old Martin who was killed in the blasts.
Just before the attack, Patterson had been eating with his girlfriend at a nearby restaurant. But immediately afterward, he noticed Jessica laying on Bolyston Street, and he leaped to action.
Patterson explained to the AP how it played out:
This child for some reason just jumped at me -- it was tunnel vision. I could see the damage. I could see that she needed a tourniquet. She needed surgery, it was obvious from what I saw.
He ran over to ask another man for his belt. He took it off and handed it over without hesitation. Patterson explained:
I have to stop the bleeding. I am making the tourniquet and another man comes and I ask him to hold it for pressure. I'm looking up and down the street -- looking for where I can bring the child to an ambulance or more care.
Patterson and another man ran with Jane to a waiting ambulance. Jane ended up losing her leg in the attack and remains in critical condition in the hospital, but is expected to survive her injuries. Who knows how much worse it could have potentially been if Patterson hadn't let his instincts take over to do something.
He just knew what to do to help Jane, and he did it without question. As brutal and horrifying as the whole scene was, it's incredibly inspiring and heartwarming to hear how Patterson didn't even have to think about it.
Check out this video of him telling the story in his own words and footage of the incident (though it's not for the faint of heart) ...
Are you inspired by Matt and Jane's story?
Image via AP