Yurt (The dog) used to live with a homeless Cedar Rapids man, 57-year-old Kevin McClain, in his car. But a month ago he became ill with lung cancer.
Paramedics rushed him to Mercy Medical Center and later to Hospice House. Yurt went to the animal shelter.
A community came together to grant his last wish. That dying wish was to see his dog one more time. It was a simple request, but one that meant the world to him in his final days.
People involved with the man’s last wish describe it as something they’ll never forget. Now that he’s gone, they’ll always cherish the memories of the man and his best friend.
It sounds like something out of a Hollywood script, but an unemployed Brooklyn man might as well add “Consummate Hero” to his resume.
The unemployed Brooklyn man, Delroy Simmonds was on his way to a job interview when he intervened by saving the life of a 9-month-old boy who was blown into the path of an oncoming subway train by a gust of high wind.
Simmonds jumped onto the elevated tracks and hoisted the bleeding child, still strapped in his stroller, to the safety of the platform as the J train bore down upon them.
The father of two then shrugged off his courageous, selfless act.
Simmonds told the New York Daily News:
“Everybody is making me out to be some sort of superhero… I’m just a normal person. Anybody in that situation should have done what I did.”
In a struggling economy the hero tag isn’t important to Simmonds, as he says he wasn’t looking for praise but what he really wants is a regular paycheck.
“I’ve been looking for a job for a year and change,” Simmonds said. “I’m looking for something to support my family.”
The Brooklyn native was on his way to apply for a maintenance position at a warehouse when the unthinkable happened at the Van Siclen Ave. station in Cypress Hills at 12:45 p.m.
As Simmonds recalled:
“A strong gust of wind blew. It had to be 30, 40 miles an hour…There was a woman with four kids. One was in a stroller. The wind blew the baby onto the tracks.”
He hoisted the stroller to the platform as the train came in and pulled himself up just as the train jerked to a stop halfway into the station, witnesses said.
Khalima Ansari, 21, who was waiting for the same train, was stunned by Simmonds’ heroics, saying, “The baby had a big gash on his forehead. You could see his skull.”
The child was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and treated for cuts to his face and head.
“It was the fatherly instinct. I have two daughters of my own — 8 and 5. I was being a father. I would have done it for any baby,” Simmonds said.
Luckily, his act was enough to wrangle another interview. In response to all the public recognition, Simmonds kept his eye on the prize: “What I really need now is a job,” said. Hopefully he gets the job!