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Teenager Lauded For Helping Elderly Lady Who Fell


A teenager helped an elderly woman who fell on the ground, and an image of the good deed has gone viral, according to a local TV news station.

Joshua Thibodeau, 18, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was riding on his school bus when he and the bus driver noticed an elderly woman lying on the sidewalk, CBS12 reported.

"The bus driver stopped and everybody just stood up," Thibodeau said. "I looked. I said, 'I have to get off the bus and help her. I had to.'"

Next to the woman on the sidewalk was a mug and a Bible. She told Thibodeau she was on her way to church when she fell.

"She was an older lady, and I felt bad," Thibodeau said. "I felt bad seeing her on the floor."

So he helped her up. And at that moment, somebody on the bus took a photo. The photo has since been widely shared on social media, according to CBS12.

"It's just something that's within you," neighbor Betty Marsman said. "You don't wait to ask. You just automatically assume some sort of responsibility to a person when that person's down."

The identity of the woman who fell is unknown.

Although Thibodeau's act might seem like common sense, helping strangers is a rare occurrence, according to a recent study.

Researchers from Cornell University found that only 2.5 percent of people (just one in 39) receive help from strangers in the time before emergency responders arrive, Daily Mail reported.

And there's a racial disparity, as well. For African Americans, just 1.8 (less than one in 55) receive assistance from strangers, compared with 4.2 percent of Caucasians (one in 24).

"It’s very surprising and disappointing to find such low rates of people helping each other and that African-American patients and those in poorer counties are left to wait longer for help," Erin York Cornwell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of sociology and Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow, said, according to Daily Mail.

But that's not the rule Thibodeau goes by.  

"If you can help someone, help them,"  he told CBS12.

Sources: CBS12Daily Mail / Photo Credit: CBS12

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