To say Will Restall is a reluctant hero is an understatement. However, that is the tag people are hanging on this Tolland Middle School student after his actions helped his injured bus driver receive quick medical treatment. Will almost missed the school bus that morning, and as he sat on the bus he focused intently on his cell phone, playing a video game. He waited the usual ten minutes to be allowed off the bus to go into the school. But then he heard a loud noise and looked up to see that the bus driver was no longer in the driver’s seat. She was slumped into the stairwell of the entrance of the bus, apparently having passed out. Will left his aisle seat, grabbed the two-way radio, and reported several times the driver was hurt. Later in the day, it was reported the driver was at home, resting and recovering, and was going to be okay. As for his “hero” status, which included several TV news appearances, Will expressed a reluctance to be in the limelight. His father said he had to bribe him to do so!
In reflecting on this event, I remembered the time when my family and I, while driving to a vacation spot, came upon an accident. My then husband, who was an MD, pulled over and went to the aid of the injured driver (there were no other occupants in the car). When an ambulance arrived, my husband asked me to phone the hospital where the man would be taken and inform the emergency room staff that a morphine injection (for pain) had been given by an MD at the site of the accident. This information was imperative, because an overdose of morphine can be lethal. When I tried to place the call, the operator said I needed to pay for it, and I told her I didn’t have money available – that this was an emergency. She was resistant, yet I was able to convince her of the importance of the situation, and she allowed the call to go through. Later we contacted the hospital where the injured man was a patient and were told he was doing okay.
No doubt readers of this blog have faced or witnessed emergency or traumatic situations and either did or did not respond. It would be helpful to know the details of such experiences and the effects it had. Did you respond by taking action, or did you fear becoming involved? From your perspective, what are the characteristics of a hero? All comments are most welcome!