What is it like to forestall a suicide?

Gillian Assor and Tommy

Gillian says she now has an “unusual” and “unbelievable” bond with Tommy

“I’m not a hero,” says Gillian Assor, 6 months after preventing a self-murder on a railway overpass nearby London. “I usually happened to be walking past.”

According to total from a British Transport Police, 2018 has seen a 20% arise in members of a open inserted to stop people murdering themselves on railways.

In May, while out walking her dog, Gillian became one of those people.

“At initial we didn’t know what it was,” she tells a BBC, recounting her tour behind home past a bridge. “But as we got closer, we realised it was a person.

“They were crying, hysterically great and creation noises.”

‘I had to have a plan’

At that moment, Gillian motionless to investigate, though it would not be until months after that she would realize a loyal impact of her actions.

“I knew we had to have a plan,” says Gillian.

She feared a male competence be aggressive, possibly verbally or physically, though says she knew that, no matter what, she “wasn’t going to travel past him”.

Slowly, with her dog, she approached and called out to ask if a male “was OK”.

“No I’m not,” he shouted back.

“I could see that he was in a unequivocally bad state,” says Gillian. “He was indignant though he was great as well.”

She says she motionless “she was going to be brave” and proceed him.

Gillian swayed him to lay down with her on a tarmac in a center of a overpass with “him on one side, me on a other and a dog in between us”.

From knowledge of her daughter’s anxiety, Gillian knew of a significance of “grounding”, so began to ask simple questions such as his name and where he was from to “break his emotion”.

His name was Tommy. He was 23 years old.

After “10 or 15 minutes”, Tommy began to ease down though was “still monosyllabic”.

At that point, a sight upheld next them. It done Gillian consternation either he “would have gone” if she had not been there.

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Tommy told Gillian because he was on a bridge, though that, she says, is a matter that will sojourn between them.

Eventually, she swayed Tommy to call his relatives and let them know where he was.

She waited until they arrived – about 25 mins after she initial approached Tommy – afterwards retreated.

“I was a bit blown away, thinking: ‘Did that usually happen?'”

Gillian usually spoke to her mom and a crony about her knowledge – though after in a year realised people she had never met were deliberating her story online.

One Sunday morning, her father showed her a Facebook post.

It began: “I know I’m seeking a impossible, and we know this is like looking for a needle in a haystack, though 4 months ago we attempted to take my life and and a foreigner stopped me with her dog…”

As she review a post, Gillian realised she was a stranger.

She motionless not to respond on a thread – “I thought, it’s not about me and it shouldn’t be about me. It was about him.”

Her father sent Tommy a private message, explaining a foreigner was his wife. The span spoke on a phone that day.

Three days after they organised to accommodate in a internal pub.

“I saw him walking from a other side of a pub, he flung his arms around me and we thought: ‘Bless him.'”

He clung to her for some-more than a minute, saying: “You saved my life. You saved my life.”


They spent an hour together, that Gillian describes as “special”.

“Since afterwards we’ve walked a dog a few times and we’re in hit dual or 3 times a week,” she says.

“It is a many strenuous feeling I’ve ever had, other than giving birth.

“He’s in my heart now. The bond is there and it is unbelievable.

“It’s a really surprising bond – it’s not spiritual, it’s usually an invisible and not discernible thing in my heart.”

Tommy is still watchful for counselling on a NHS, Gillian says, though a span have designed a outing behind to a overpass where they met “to make a nice, new experience”.


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