The Heroic Stranger

Early November in 1988, on a Friday night around 8:30 pm, Travis Lane was enjoying the company of a few friends on his front porch. It was a normal night in the neighborhood–hanging out, drinking, and exchanging the latest gossip.

Out of no where a gunman began shooting. Unaware where the shots were coming from, everyone ran for safety. The crowd that surrounded Travis had dispersed – they scattered like roaches when they’re being hunted by humans. Instinctively Travis dived to the ground. While laying on the grass, a bullet pierced his head. Because the unseen gunman had cleared the area, there was no one there to help me.

As Travis laid unconsciously, blood leaked from his head. Before he closed his eyes completely he saw a figure standing over top of me. “Oh my God!” the voice of a woman said. It was Ms. Angie, a 5’2″ Puerto Rican with brown eyes and light skin. With her knees bent on the ground, Ms. Angie placed Travis’ head on her lap. “It’s going to be okay,” she said as she cradled Travis’ injured head.

The bleeding stopped. As if Ms. Angie had done this before, she knew exactly what to do. Then again, most of the elderly women in the hood have experienced life-threatening situations–one of the cons yet pros of living in an impoverished community.

Ms. Angie said she wasn’t going to let me die and she didn’t. While everyone he knew ran for their own safety, a relative stranger came to his rescue.

Before Travis didn’t know a lot about Ms. Angie. He knew, of course, who she was, but not on an intimate note. Caught by surprise, the person Travis least expected was the first person to his aide. Ms. Angie called for help. She stood by his side as they waited for the ambulance to arrive. All the way to the hospital, Ms. Angie held Travis by the hand tightly. Blinded by the inside ambulance lights, Travis drifted off into the darkness.

When Travis woke up in the hospital, the only thing he wanted to know was “Where is Ms. Angie?” Although Travis was happy to be alive, Travis didn’t care about what happened. Being a victim of gun violence is a part of everyday life in Travis’ rough neighborhood. The moment where he was left alone to die, Ms. Angie’s face was the only and last face he saw before he lost consciousness. So Ms. Angie was the first person Travis wanted to see.

Unfortunately he was greeted by a young nurse instead of his superhero.

A note from the author:

For obvious reasons I wish there were more than less people like Ms. Angie. What an angel, right? The selfless and courageous woman saved a life. An example of how God wants us to care for each other. Needless to say, Travis wouldn’t have been able to share his beautiful story if it wasn’t for the stranger God sent to rescue him. Although Ms. Angie was a stranger (by definition), her love earned a place in Travis’ heart forever. Likewise how Jesus sacrificed for us, this is what God wants us to do for each other. Let’s spread the love, people!