A woman met an unlikely hero in the middle of the highway and followed her. It turned out to be a day the woman would never forgot.
It was February 12. Elizabeth Fraser was driving home from work, tired as ever. She was a nurse who had transferred to the new hospital in the area, so there were a lot of patients to see. Elizabeth had worked long hours that day, so her shoulders were drooping by the time she finished.
“You look a little beat down there Liz,” Paul, one of the hospital staff, pointed out when he took over her shift that day. “If I didn’t know you were made of sterner stuff I’d say you’re about to drop. You should get some rest.”
“And I would have been able to get to it earlier if you ever found it in you to resume your post early,” she shot back.
“Guilty as charged,” he smiled.
The oaf often resumed about ten minutes late every time he was on duty. He was right though, Elizabeth was about to drop; by the time she got behind the wheel of her silver Chevy, she had to stifle a yawn.
That yawn kept bothering her as she navigated through the evening traffic of the city. Her route took her to a more residential area that boasted of great trees and spaces. It took about 20 minutes by car, and the nurse was finding it hard to stay awake.
She had just stifled another yawn when her eyes focused on a small white figure waving by the side of the road. She was on a long stretch of road that led to the residential part of the city — folks called it the devil’s pass because a lot of accidents happened there, crimes too.
A gasp escaped her mouth as her headlights focused on the figure, revealing a young child’s face — she was crying. Elizabeth hit the brakes, and her car skidded to a stop right in front of the child.
As she rolled down her window to look out at the little girl, her eyes continued to scan the environment in case it was an elaborate robbery attempt. “What are you doing out here all alone child?” Elizabeth asked.
The young girl could not have been more than 12, and she looked roughed up. Her tears had her squinting, which made it hard for Elizabeth to tell the color of her eyes. “My father and brother, please, you have to help them!” the girl told her, urgency in her voice.
“We were in an accident, and they need your help!” the girl yelled, shaking as tears flowed down her cheeks.
“Where are they? Take me there,” Elizabeth told the child. At that, the girl turned back and walked into the woods. Elizabeth waited back for a moment to lock her car and take her valuables.
.After walking for about 2 minutes, they came to a clearing, and there Elizabeth caught sight of the car crash | Source: Shutterstock
She followed the girl for a short walk through the quiet woods, during which she learned that the girl’s name was Anna. After walking for about 2 minutes, they came to a clearing, and there Elizabeth caught sight of the car crash.
Her eyes quickly took in the details; the man in the front seat was unconscious — knocked out by the airbag designed to rescue him — while the boy was conscious and crying.
Elizabeth looked at the girl; she had somehow unclipped her car seat harness, climbed out of the wreckage, and then set out barefoot through the forest to get to the highway and flag down traffic.
“How did this happen?” Elizabeth muttered softly, but the girl heard her.
“It was our fault,” Anna said in a daze. “My dad was distracted by me and Todd bickering in the backseat so he took his eyes off the road and there was a deer and when I opened my eyes we were here.”
The girl was crying again, so Elizabeth hugged her and promptly called 911. While waiting for the ambulance, she followed all the dispatcher’s instructions. It was not difficult; she was a trained nurse, after all.
Elizabeth and the little girl managed to pull the man and the little boy out of the car; it was a difficult task, but Elizabeth wanted to do something, and she was not comfortable with the man sitting unconscious behind the wheels.
When the paramedics finally arrived, the trio all got first aid; the man only had a mild concussion and would be fine. Anna was just glad that her dad and brother were alive, not fully understanding what she had actually accomplished.
What did we learn from this story?
Anything is possible. Anna was a little girl who almost lost her father and brother in a car accident. Her life was almost forfeited, but luckily, that did not happen. When she became conscious after the accident, rather than cry and panic about the situation like a normal child, Anna exhibited maturity by working to get herself freed and then proceeding to find help even though it meant walking barefoot through the lonely woods. Elizabeth was stunned by her heroic act, and it left a lasting impression that made the nurse keep honoring the memory.
Stop and help but be cautious. Elizabeth could have ignored Anna while she stood at the side of the road looking for help and would have been justified; after all, it could have been a set-up. But the nurse saw that a child was involved, so she lowered her guard just enough to ensure everything was alright. Things were not, and after deciding it was a genuine request for help, Elizabeth chose to help. It is great to help people, but it is always healthy to exercise caution depending on the circumstances.