There have been numerous sad instances of people jumping off of freeway overpasses to their deaths.
The traffic gets shut down as people try to talk them out of their determination to end their lives, but once the person is over the railing and falling, it’s usually too late to do anything.
Even the most sincere efforts can’t breathe life back into a dead body.
But one officer encountered a truly unique situation that could have easily claimed her life, too.
When 28-year-old Officer Jessie Ferreira Cavallo saw what looked like a teenager run off an overpass, she didn’t really have to think about what she was going to do next; she just acted.
She had a pretty impressive track record so far: With only seven years of experience behind her, she’d already won six lifesaving awards for reversing heroin overdoses and resuscitating a heart attack victim.
The young officer could see the teenage boy lying on the concrete below, though the thing that she noticed most was the blood everywhere. The scene didn’t look promising.
“I wasn’t thinking too much,” Cavallo said, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News. “I just knew, when I looked down and saw him … he looked dead.”
“I couldn’t see anything other than blood. I thought to myself, ‘He needs help. I need to help him.'”
She’d been driving along the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers when the young man caught her eye.
As soon as she saw what he was doing, she grabbed her first aid kit and launched herself after him. Somehow, the fall that incapacitated him did little to slow her down.
“Everything happened so fast and I think my adrenaline was pumping so high,” she said. “He just climbed up and jumped off.”
But Cavallo wasn’t alone in her attempt to help him: As she was attending to him, another woman showed up in military garb.
“Both me and her together,” she said, “we were able to aid him and assist him.” She said that the two of them worked together as if they always had.
Even as they checked his vital signs and kept him still, he was unresponsive.
“I was talking. He wasn’t really responding back,” she recalled.
He was taken to the hospital, and while Cavallo is unsure of his current condition, she wishes him nothing but the best. If she could, she’d give him a hug.
It took her some time for the magnitude of her death-defying leap to hit her. In the moment it seemed like the right thing to do, and somehow she walked away without major injuries.
“Friday, after this whole thing happened,” she said, “I went to work and worked to 11 p.m. I didn’t realize what was going on until yesterday. That’s when it hit me. I didn’t realize how high it was. It seemed doable. It didn’t seem that high.”
“I thought I jumped over a brick wall, or a cement barrier. It was so fast. It was more like tunnel vision. I saw the boy and I needed to get to him. I didn’t see anything else.”
With that kind of selfless determination and quickness, she’ll probably be earning quite a few more lifesaving awards during her career!
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