Schoolboys Grabbed Suicidal Man And Didn’t Let Him Go

An incident involving three young schoolboys saving the life of a rank stranger is winning praise from social media users and people all over the country.


Devonte Cafferkey, 13, Sammy Farah, 14, and Shawn Young, 12 years of age, did not panic on seeing a suicidal man sitting on the edge of an overpass with a rope around his neck about to kill himself.

The quick-thinking trio from St Mary’s High School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, saved the man’s life, by grabbing him back from the edge, talking to him, and refused to let him go. Shawn then started asking for help, two passers-by came to their help and rescued the man.

The three children are now national heroes, for their bravery at A10 overpass in Waltham Cross, last September. Shawn’s mum, Carol, said they have “just got on with it” since then incident. “They were coming from school and loitering around, Shawn was telling them to hurry up,” said the 52-year-old.

She said that if the boys had messed more longer there, then who knows what they would have seen instead. She says that they were meant to be there at the right time to help the man. She says, Shawn told her what had happened and after he finished telling her the whole incident, she kept smiling because there was nothing more she could add to it.

“While trying to keep the man back and talk him out of suicide, he passed the boys his mobile phone saying ‘if it rings, don’t answer it’.” The boys were helped by 47-year-old Joanne Stammers, who is registered disabled with Klippel–Trénaunay syndrome, a rare disability that makes her highly prone to blood clotting. Joanne also helped the boys in the rescue mission despite her condition and held onto the man “for what feels like forever” she was left with bruises on her arms.

Joanne Stammers

Another passerby, James Higlett, also helped the boys in saving the man’s life. All five of them will receive awards from the Royal Humane Society, a charity which promotes life-saving intervention. Carol is very proud of the boys and says, “I am extremely proud of all three of them, they are all good boys and it’s nice that they are getting recognised for doing something good in the community.

She added, “Quite often in the national news there are a lot of negative reports about young people so it is nice to have something positive. “They are very young and I marvel at how they are all dealing with it.” She added, “Every time I speak to them I learn something new about what happened. For example, the man was passing out and got heavier for them, I didn’t know that until recently.”

Jacqueline Cafferkey, Devonte’s mum, described it as a “huge achievement.” The three boys have already been awarded Special Achievement Awards at the Broxbourne Youth Awards for their bravery. Joanne said the award is a “great honour” and is still in touch with Jacqueline. “It’s amazing to get this award, it’s obviously under sad circumstances but it’s also great that the kids are getting something for what they did,” she said. She added, “I am really pleased for them and I hope other children can see it’s worth stopping to help someone.”

Joanne says she heard the boys calling for help while on her way back from visiting her mum in Waltham Cross, now she “hates” going under the bridge now and avoids it as much as she can. She still visits her mum once a week and is very attentive to any bridge she goes under now to make sure nobody is on edge.

This story renews our hope in our youth and the high standards these three young boys have set for their peers to follow.