Moments Before Stranger is About to Jump to Their Death, They Spot Sign That Saves Their Life


Warning: this story discusses both rape and suicide. The subject matter in this story may be distressing to some readers. Please continue reading at your own discretion. 

“At 6pm I went down to the bridge with every intention of ending my life,” an anonymous submission begins, but something caused this person to stop and reconsider: a handwritten note on bright-colored paper.

“As I was about to climb over I stopped at a sign that said ‘Be STRONG because things will get better, it may be stormy now but it never rains forever,'” the person shared.

There are many stories like this one thanks to the teenager who placed those brightly colored notes on the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland, England.

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Eighteen-year-old Paige Hunter knows what it feels like to be so desperate that suicide seems like the only option. When she was only 14, she was attacked and raped. The trauma of that horrific event sent her into a tailspin of depression and PTSD.

Only a few months ago, she was the one standing at the bridge, getting ready to jump. She told the Daily Mail that it was “the loneliest feeling.”

Luckily two strangers stopped as they were driving past and were able to convince her to reconsider. They stayed with her until law enforcement arrived.

Hunter has since gotten help to begin the healing process, but it has also motivated her to help others going through the same feeling of despair.

“Going through something so traumatic at 14 was extremely hard, to deal with flashbacks that happened almost everyday all day,” she wrote in a vulnerable Facebook post. “But I just want people to know that no matter what you go through your past does not define your future or the person you are today and you have to keep pushing on no matter how hard things get you need to stay strong!!!”

After seeing something similar on social media, Hunter decided to write notes of hope and purpose to those who may be in the same situation she once was in. In an interview with This Morning, she estimated that she has written about 240 notes in total, but continues to write more every month.

Most of the notes have been spread throughout the city of Sunderland, but she wanted to pay special attention to the bridge that holds so many bad memories for her. Forty notes were tied to the railing of the Wearmouth Bridge.

As she was placing the notes on the bridge, strangers came up to her and shared their own stories, which made the experience even more emotional.

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Hunter’s hope for the notes is simple: “I hope that these quotes just help that one person to not commit suicide and know that they are worthy of living.”

As news of the teen’s selfless acts has spread, more and more stories have come in saying that those notes saved their lives. The last count by Hunter was given on August 4, 2018; at least 9 lives have been saved as a direct result of her notes.

Just like she was inspired by someone else, other people have started pinning their own notes of hope in public areas. A group of Auburn, California, residents have attached over 200 notes to two different local bridges.

“It’s absolutely amazing that people all over the world are now wanting to place notes of hope to bridges, she told the Sunderland Echo. “I didn’t expect it to get as far as this but the fact it has is great.”

In fact, Hunter’s act of kindness has made such an impact in her community and beyond that the Northumbria Police decided to award her with a commendation certificate.

“Paige has shown an incredible understanding of vulnerable people in need of support, and this is an innovative way to reach out to those in a dark place,” Chief Superintendent, Sarah Pitt, said.

Pitt continued, “For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally. She should be very proud of herself.”

Hunter said that writing notes and hoping to help others has also helped her own mental health battle. “I haven’t really been in a good place at all and since I’ve done that I just feel a whole lot better, I really do,” she told ITV News.

There’s no doubt that her small acts have had a powerful impact in her own community and around the world. She is truly an inspiration.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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