BSW Stories - Page 12

Right Place, Right Time Right Person As a biomedical technician at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – McKinney, Hector Gonzalez knows when something needs fixing. So while in San Francisco for a training class, he decided to act when confronted with a problem that needed fixing, even though most people probably would have simply walked away. Hector was heading back to his hotel after a run, when an older woman flagged him down. “The first thing she asked was did I know who ‘they’ were,” he recalls. “She was very worried people were after her and were going to kill her.” At first, Hector believed what she was saying. “Then I realized something was off, but I kept talking, telling her it was OK, even though I had a hard time figuring out what to do.” 10 He probed, asking if he should contact the police or her family. That agitated her, and when she asked if he had anything to help her end her life, Hector decided to act. “I told her, ‘No, I don’t.’ And when she told me she was going to jump off a bridge, I called 911. I couldn’t have lived with myself if I’d not done something to get help.” Because he didn’t know the area, he had a hard time directing police. As he looked for street signs, he continued to follow the woman, hanging back so as not to agitate her. The police were able to track Hector’s cell phone and located him and the woman, who by this time had walked to an overpass. Hector stayed back so the officers could approach her. Then she calmly got in their squad car, and they drove off. When he got home, the father of four shared the story with his family. “They need to know that doing something as simple as telling someone, ‘It’ll be OK’– especially a stranger – can go a long way.”