By Ken MacQueen - Friday, December 21, 2012 - 0 Comments
A hero in a Hummer and other lifesavers in the past year
Say what you will about the Hummer, that ungainly beast of a motor vehicle can be a lifesaver in the right hands. On Aug. 31, Darrell Krushelnicki, a 46-year-old energy-company worker in Fort Nelson, B.C., sacrificed his 2006 Hummer H3, at no small risk to himself, to stop a speeding car from slamming into four young pedestrians on an Edmonton crosswalk.
It was 4:30 p.m., and Krushelnicki, in Edmonton to visit his family, was exiting the Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre parking lot. Traffic was stopped for three teens and a three-year-old child on a crosswalk with amber lights flashing. Krushelnicki was edging the Hummer out onto the road to make a left turn when he noticed a grey Pontiac speeding down the street, the driver allegedly talking on a cellphone. Krushelnicki edged out further, but it was clear the driver was oblivious to the kids on the road.
“He was accelerating, and I had to make a decision, I felt, and that was to stop the vehicle,” he later explained. He gritted his teeth, braced for impact and drove directly into the path of the car to shield the young people. There was a loud bang, a clatter of debris, and the two vehicles skidded to a stop just feet away from the stunned foursome, who had been unaware they were even at risk. “If it wasn’t for that guy, I’m pretty sure I would be dead,” a shaken 15-year-old Janice Marett told a CBC interviewer. “He could have died if it hit the wrong way. He risked his life for four kids he didn’t even know. It’s amazing.” Continue…
By Julia Belluz - Friday, November 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM - 0 Comments
This is the second part of a series of articles adapted from the 2012 Hancock Lecture, “Who Live and Who Dies, Will Social Media Decide?” recently delivered at the University of Toronto by Julia Belluz. This installment looks at the use of social media for health campaigning about organ donation. Read parts Read parts one, three and four.
Anyone who opened a newspaper or turned on the television some time in the last eight months has probably heard of Hélène Campbell. She’s the 20-year-old Ottawa native who was admitted to hospital last July with collapsed lungs. The doctors said it was pulmonary fibrosis, which scars and thickens the lungs to the point of incapacity, death. Her only option: a double-lung transplant.
In January, Campbell was placed on the donor list. In the past, the story probably would have ended there. The would-be donor recipient would wait quietly for her call. But in January, Campbell turned to social media. She started a blog to document her journey and raise funds for the move to Toronto that was necessary as she awaited lungs.
Out of that initiative sprang a third goal: to raise awareness about the need for organ donors. She tweeted to the pop star Justin Bieber. He, in turn, shared her story to his 29 million Twitter followers. This absolutely silly, spontaneous interaction gave Campbell a global audience.