A seniors’ misfortune after a fall in a Chemainus park quickly turned to good fortune when a Chemainus Secondary School student with first aid training who just happened to be in the vicinity provided much-needed assistance.
Nancy Bright is most appreciative of the actions of Grade 8 student Grayson Magee and presented him with a $50 cash reward at the school Thursday.
Bright was walking in Askew Creek Park across the street from her residence when she took a tumble. “I was daydreaming instead of watching my feet,” she said.
There was no one in sight at first when Bright fell flat on her face.
“I just lay there, glasses mashed against my face, unable to move,” she recounted. “Eventually, I was able to turn on my side and then sit up when this young fellow came to my aid. He asked if I was alright, if I wanted him to call 911 and offered to help get me up.
“When I managed to get on my knees and hands he knelt and offered his knee for support on which to put one hand so I could push myself up with the other. He said that he was trained in first aid and his quiet assured manner proved that he had learned his skill well.”
Magee said he took a first aid course about a year ago.
Magee and other students were at the park during a physical education class playing a game of ‘Capture the Flag.’
“I’d just gone in to check if there was somebody hiding in the bushes,” he said.
“When I saw her face down in the dirt, it was like ‘oh, gosh.’ I run over and I guess instinct just kicked in.”
Bright did not require medical assistance, but suffered bruising on her face, mid-section and leg. Magee stayed with her to ensure she could make it home.
“When I was once again on my feet, he continued to assist me, identifying my abrasions and pouring his water over the scrapes on my hand,” Bright indicated. “When I could walk again and felt ready to move towards home, he walked with me for a good part of the way, quietly pointing out the hazards, until he felt that I could safely continue on my own.
“Throughout, I could best describe his behaviour as gentle professionalism, far more than I would expected of someone his age.”
As a retired secondary school teacher from Ontario, Bright has seen the good in young people far more than the opposite.
“I’d say nice students are the majority and the bad apples make it difficult,” she said.
Bright did not ask for the student’s name at the time so she made an effort to track him down the day after the incident. She wrote a letter to Chemainus Secondary School and learned Magee was the young man who helped.
An informal ceremony was set up outside the school and Bright made the cash presentation to Magee and thanked him publicly again.
And what’s he going to do with the money? “Keep it in my wallet till something comes up,” Magee said.
Mom Kelly and grandmother Helen Fowler were there for the ceremony and are obviously very proud of Grayson’s actions.
The student has some advice for other young people who might encounter a similar situation.
“Don’t let fear stop you from helping other people,” he said.
And knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, “makes you feel significant,” Magee added.
“May good karma go with him,” enthused Bright.