It’s all too easy to make a snap judgement about other people. But, while it can be harmless to assume that the well-dressed woman on the tube works in fashion, or the barista who served you your coffee this morning would be great in bed, this viral post illustrates how some instant assessments can prove incredibly dangerous.
Taking to Facebook, a woman named Natalie Thompson explains that she recently came across a man who was slumped over in the driver’s seat of his car. She immediately pulled her car over and rushed to his side, where she found that he was “vomiting, convulsing, unconscious, but breathing”.
It was plain to see that the man needed urgent medical attention, so Thompson dialled for an ambulance – the correct response, as we’re sure most of you will agree.
However, while she was intent on getting the gentleman the help he needed, others were more interested in doing something else.
Something like, say, snapping that perfect photo.
“I'm on the phone with 911, directing traffic around this guy's truck coming off the exit and people are stopping at the intersection to take pictures of him and asking me if it's from heroin,” says Thompson.
“All I'm saying is ‘MOVE! You're blocking traffic and not helping AT ALL!’”
Despite the assumptions that others were making, Thompson told the 911 operator that there was “no evidence of drug use or alcohol, even his vomit didn't smell like it”.
And, thankfully, help soon arrived in the form of an ambulance and a team of trained paramedics.
“The ambulance pulls up pretty quickly, they start assessing the guy and get him awake and to the ambulance,” says Thompson. “They ask him if he's done any drugs or had anything to drink and he says no.
“Then they ask him ‘Well, why are you sweating so bad? What happened?’ And he says ‘I'm diabetic.’”
She continues: “I just wanted to share this to let people know, not everyone that's unconscious and needing medical attention is an addict OD’ing.
“And even if they are, SO WHAT?! There's a human being in an emergency situation and needing help. Isn't that what the concern should be instead of judging someone we know absolutely NOTHING about?”
Thompson finishes by saying: “That could have been someone's dad, son, brother, husband - and he could have died. That's all that should matter.
“I hope this helps someone remember that.”
The post has been shared over 5,000 times on Facebook since it was posted on the Love What Matters page, sparking a huge conversation amongst social media users.
“I have epilepsy and I'm scared to death of having a seizure in public and no one helping me,” shared one. “My seizures are under excellent control and have been for a long time but that fear is always there in the back of my mind.”
Another added: “It makes me very sad that the first thing some people think about in an emergency situation is taking pictures and judging instead of helping others.”
And one more said: “Very well stated and thanks for sharing. We are in a world that would rather judge a book than open it up and figure it out. Thank you for stopping and caring about this father, brother, husband, uncle, son or friend.”