What Should Be.

Devonte Cafferkey, 13, Sammy Farah, 14, and Shawn Young, 12

Remember way back when in July of 2017 when five Cocoa teens stood by and watched a disabled man drown in a pond? The incident raised lots of eyebrows as the teens mocked the man before he slipped under the water to never surface again. No charges were ever filed and although some people wanted new laws to be made that would force people to help others, that didn’t happen either. (Frankly, it shouldn’t.)

In 2018 in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire which is near London, England three teens came upon a situation where instead of laughing and mocking, they took action.

Three boys were coming home from school when they found themselves in the middle of a harrowing situation.

A deeply troubled man was sitting on the edge of an overpass with a rope around his neck about to take his own life.

Devonte Cafferkey, 13, Sammy Farah, 14, and Shawn Young, just 12 at the time, didn’t panic.

In fact, the incredible quick-thinking, heroism and compassion of the boys, who go to St Mary’s High School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, saved the man’s life.

They tried to keep him back from the edge, talk him around, and when he went to jump, they grabbed onto him and refused to let go.

As Shawn then calmly rang for help, two other passers-by came to the boys’ aide and the man was rescued.


“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.

The incident left the boys a bit traumatized as well.

Jacqueline Cafferkey, Devonte’s mum, said the incident was traumatic for her son, who is glad the man is recovering.

Devonte did not want to go to school on Monday (September 25), which Jacqueline said “never happens”.

“He does not want to talk about it, it has been hard. Sammy has come over and has been quiet.

“I am filled with pride, I keep telling him he saved someone’s life and I hope that he realises that now.”

Mohamed Farah, Sammy’s dad, described his son as a “quiet and humble boy”.

“He has always been helpful to other people, when he sees an older lady on the street with shopping he goes to help,” he said.

“He is a quiet and humble boy.”

He added: “What they did was very brave. The man was a lot bigger and stronger than them and he didn’t care about his life so he could have hurt the boys.

“But they just ran to help.”

The teens, Joanne Stammers and another man who jumped in to help named James Higlett all received awards for the incident.

We have come to the conclusion that there seems to be three types of people in the world right now. There are those who say “not my problem,” and walk away. There are those who whip out a cell phone to record something rather than helping. Then there are those who, for lack of a better term “run to the sounds of the guns.”

These five people ran toward the problem and not away from it. They didn’t film it, they didn’t laugh, and they didn’t mock the man on the bridge. Even at their young ages, they had been taught and recognize that all lives – even those in distress – have a value and that this person needed help, not a push off the bridge.

Although we are late to this, we still want to extend a hearty “well done” to all of the people in this incident.

They have helped restore our faith in humanity and for that, we are grateful.

2 Responses to “What Should Be.”

  1. Bob Chadwick says:

    These fine young men stand as testimony to the examples set by, and guidance provided by, their parents and other positive role models.

    They stand in stark contrast to the three Cocoa youths you pointed out, as well as to the other sad and cowardly examples we read about driving around and shooting guns out of car windows.

    Thank you for posting this article. We need a few more positive role models.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Bob Chadwick,

      Thanks for the comment.

      We get tired of writing all the negative stuff all the time and like positive stories like this as well.

      Have a great weekend.

      A. Afterwit.