A Tennessee FedEx driver is being hailed as a hero after he reportedly saved a suicidal woman by grabbing hold of her arm as she jumped from a bridge Tuesday—holding on as she dangled for about five minutes until authorities arrived to help.
Garrett Nicholson, 42, had just finished a delivery moments before he encountered the unidentified suicidal woman, the Kingsport Times News reports.
Nicholson recalled holding onto the woman as she dangled from a bridge about 40 feet above Caney Creek, near Rogersville, afraid that his strength might fail him.
“I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to hold her,” Nicholson told the newspaper.
“Fortunately, where I work at FedEx, I load boxes all day, and you kind of get used to holding onto heavy things. I was just really scared that she was going to fall, and it was kind of one of those things that you keep praying to God for strength to keep holding her until someone arrived to help me.”
Nicholson described witnessing a car in the middle of a road as a woman sat at the edge of a bridge. When a bystander told him that he thought the woman might jump, Nicholson sprang into action, and slowly approached her while trying to “talk her down,” he said.
The hero said the female appeared to be “out of it” when he “got within arm’s reach, because she wasn’t listening or anything.”
At this point, Nicholson stated that as the distraught woman moved forward, he was “able to grab her by the arm” while holding onto her for dear life, literally.
“She just went dead weight and was dangling off the side of the bridge,” he said. “It seemed like it was hours, but it was maybe five minutes.”
Nicholson noted that before help arrived, the woman spoke out about problems going on in her life.
“She made comments like, ‘He’s never going to hurt me again,’ and some of it was nonsensical and more rambling. She’s got a bad home life is what it sounded like to me, and at the moment she felt suicide was the better option. Fortunately, the deputy showed up in enough time, and between him and I, we were able to lift her up and back over the side. He got her in handcuffs and got her somewhere she can get some help.”
Authorities told the Kingsport Times News that the woman was subsequently “taken for an emergency committal and mental evaluation.”
After he helped to save the stranger’s life, the FedEx driver said he finished his shift while praying for her.
“There’s no problem in this life that is worth suicide,” he said. “Problems are temporary. That’s permanent and nothing is that bad. I don’t know what darkness she was going through that made jumping the better alternative. I just hope it gets better for her. I hope she gets help.”
If you are someone you know is in crisis, help is available 24/7 by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
FedEx driver Garrett Nicholson made an unscheduled stop near Rogersville Tuesday evening where he delivered a second chance at life to a woman in distress. https://t.co/Nd5JqRSIzp #TeamFedEx pic.twitter.com/RILDg5PWJl
— Shane O'Connor (@oconnorshane) September 27, 2018
[Feature photo: Pixabay]