Robert Barron column: Nicole Lynch deserves a medal

Robert Barron column: Nicole Lynch deserves a medal

It takes a great deal of courage to walk into a potentially dangerous situation

Nicole Lynch should get a medal for her successful efforts to save a man who had just overdosed on drugs right in front of her.

The Duncan nurse was working out at a gym in the city when she noticed through a window that a group had gathered across the street and were apparently taking drugs.

Lynch grew concerned when one of the men in the group fell off his bike, hit the ground face first and lay unconscious.

With no other member of the group assisting the fallen man, Lynch knew that, as a licensed practical nurse, she had a responsibility to intervene and do what she could for him.

Her training kicked in and she, accompanied by another member of the gym who agreed to go with her, didn’t hesitate to run into the middle of a bunch of strangers who had just ingested mind-altering opioids.

Lynch took immediate command of the situation and, despite initially taking some verbal abuse from the man’s friends, discovered that one of the group had a naloxone kit, which reverses the effects of opioids, and quickly administered the drug to the downed man.

The naloxone finally kicked in after a second injection and, together with other first-aid techniques and CPR, the man, who originally had been blue in colour with no pulse, finally started coming around before an ambulance arrived.

He refused to be taken to the hospital and, after an assessment from the ambulance’s crew, he wandered off with his friends.

I don’t know if the man and his friends thanked Lynch for her efforts at the time but, if they didn’t, they really should have.

It takes a great deal of courage to walk into a potentially dangerous situation to offer services to people who may not be inclined to take the offer kindly.

She had no idea who these people were, other than they were drug users, and what danger they could have posed to her.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say to me since the incident that they would never have done that, but I don’t believe them,” she told me.

“There’s a great sense of humanity in all of us and I think anyone would have stepped in to help in any way they could.”

Unfortunately, in my experience, a lot of people wouldn’t help in a similar situation.

I saw the dark side of humanity many years ago while riding a subway to work one morning when I lived in Toronto.

I was in the first car reading a newspaper when I saw out of the corner of my eye what I thought was a garbage bag flying in front of the train.

It turned out to be someone who had purposefully killed himself by jumping onto the tracks as the train entered the station.

The train, of course, came to a stop pretty quick as subway workers scrambled onto the tracks.

While I was talking to the conductor about opening the doors so the passengers could help in some kind of rescue attempt, those around me began loudly complaining about being late for work.

I was appalled by that incident and the lack of humanity of those subway passengers.

That’s why I think Lynch should get a medal.

She did everything she could to help someone in need and even put herself in possible danger by doing so.

That’s what I call a hero.

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