No Ordinary Joe

Published: October 30, 2019

By Jim Lichtman
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These days, Washington is loaded with bad news, cynicism, corruption, and perhaps more division than we have all seen in our lifetimes.

But at Thirteenth Street and Potomac Avenue, the kindness of strangers still exists and … so does gratitude.

As reported by WUSA, channel 9 in D.C. (Aug. 22), “The notes appeared mysteriously overnight.

“A mysterious heart attack victim whose life was saved by good Samaritans on the block had returned to spread thanks in a most public way.

“ ‘You Saved My Life,’ the sign read in block letters. The writer described how he had a heart attack behind the wheel resulting in a crash, how strangers pulled him unconscious from his car after the accident, called 911 and performed CPR.

“The signs were signed: ‘Forever Grateful, Joe.’

“ ‘That just touched our hearts,’ said Deborah Williams who was involved in the heroics after the accident damaged both her and her husband’s parked cars.

Williams said “Joe” was unresponsive, not breathing and had turned pale and blue when he was first seen behind the wheel.

As “Joe’s” passenger tried to help, Deborah and her husband Alphonso Williams were among those who pulled “Joe” out of the car.

Another resident, Rome Gross ran to get a nurse.

The unidentified woman, known to neighbors as Miss Toni, responded immediately and performed CPR.

Deborah Williams called Miss Toni “an angel”.

“She just got down there and started pumping on him,” Williams marveled.

“ ‘She hugged my wife,’ said Alphonso Williams. ‘I was thinking that between prayer and people sticking together, we can even bring back life,’ Mr. Williams said with tears beginning to well.

“The heroic nurse was not available to speak with WUSA9

“Attempts to contact ‘Joe’ were not successful.

“However, ‘Joe’ is a retired gentleman who lives only a block away from the incident, according to a neighbor who confirmed his identity.

“ ‘Joe’ is out of the hospital and recovering at home, according to his thank you note.”

The most fundamental of all ethical concepts is that of The Golden Rule and it goes back as far as the Chinese philosopher, Confucius:

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

Greek philosopher Aristotle turned it around:

“We should behave to others as we with others to behave to us.”

An ethical person is concerned with the well-being of others. They seek to help when they can and reduce any harm.


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