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Irish Teen Saves Life of Suicidal Man

| by Maura Turcotte

The actions of an Irish teen show how a few words can go a long way.

Several months ago, Jamie Harrington, a 16-year-old boy from Dublin, Ireland, was walking around the city when he spotted a man in his 30s sitting on the edge of a bridge, seemingly about to jump off. Wanting to help, Harrington approached the man, reports The Independent.

The next three words the teen uttered ended up saving the man's life. Those three words: Are you OK?

“I stopped and asked him if he was OK, but I knew from the look in his eyes he wasn't, and he didn't say anything either, but I saw tears coming from his eyes,” Harrington told the social media site Humans of Dublin, The Independent documents. “I pleaded with him for a while to come down and sit on the steps, and eventually he did. We sat on the sidewalk on the south side of the Liffey and talked for about 45 minutes, about what was happening to him.”

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After their conversation and an exchange of phone numbers, the teen called an ambulance that took the man to be treated at St. James Hospital.

Then, three months after the incident, the man contacted Harrington to share the news of his wife’s pregnancy. The man, still grateful, explained that he plans to name his child after Harrington, reports The Irish Examiner.

“He said in that moment that I approached him, he was just about to jump, and those few words saved his life,” the 16-year-old stated in his post on Humans of Dublin. “I can't really understand how these few words could save his life, but he told me, 'imagine if nobody ever asked you those words.'"

Since the encounter, the Humans of Dublin project has published Harrington’s story online. His post went viral with more than 33,000 likes on Facebook.

The teen, who was diagnosed with depression three years ago, has previously worked as an ambassador for organizations promoting greater awareness of mental illness.

As he told The Independent, “I like to help people who need help.”

Sources: The Independent, Irish Examiner / Photo credit: Humans of Dublin Facebook via The Independent