It was about five forty-five in the evening one day last week on my way home from work. Traffic was heavy, and I had just inched onto the short overpass that from my direction leads downtown. As my speed picked up, I caught a glimpse of a young woman sitting on the raised area on the side of the bridge, very close to the hundreds of passing cars who probably would not see her. I quickly passed by, but my split second spotting was enough to see blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, a gray jacket on a soon to be chilly night, and an empty expression on a pretty face. I tend to watch for people’s safety – it’s my job – and I figured I must do something. Who knows what is in someone else’s mind. I called 911. What did she look like? What was she wearing? My mind snapped a decent picture.
The next morning I told my co-workers about it, and we wondered if she would show up where we work. Since she didn't on that day, it slipped my mind. We hear many sad stories. But today there was a patient in the ER with a story that reminded me of the girl on the bridge. I wanted to find out, went to interview her, and soon I determined she was the one. I spent some time talking with her as she squirmed, sat, and lay on the gurney, and after enough conversation, I told her I had seen her sitting on the bridge last week and that I called for help. Her face brightened and she replied, “Thank you. I was so scared.” The cops picked her up that night and took her to the ER. Several hours later, after finding someone to take her home and feeling that she was OK, they discharged her. I understand. An Emergency Room cannot keep everyone who comes in. Needy and desperate once again, she found her way back this week. With her nutty family and her own mental illness, unfortunately she does not have many options. The ER is not just for medical crises. I was really glad to learn the outcome of my call that evening. Now it is our turn to try to help her.