Heroic Umpire Saved A Woman’s Life
Usually John Tumpane spends his days making calls for the Pittsburg Pirates. But on this particular day, the Major League Baseball umpire saved a suicidal woman’s life.
John was on his way to work at a Pirates baseball game. His route takes him over the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburg. And as he was crossing over, he saw a woman climbing over the protective railing.
John makes split-second decisions for a living. But this one held the power of life and death!
Answering The Call
John could have made excuses and kept driving. But he didn’t. John knew he had to step in and help.
John pulled over and raced to the woman’s side. He gently placed a hand on her shoulder and asked what she was doing. She tried fibbing, saying she was only trying to get a better look at the river below. John knew she was lying.
“I told her I’ll go buy her lunch, and ‘we’ll talk things out and get her in a better place,'” John explained.
That’s when her true intentions became clear.
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The woman turned John’s offer down. She told him she was better off on the other side of the bridge, encouraging him to forget about her. But John persisted.
“I said, ‘No, I want to help you, let’s just talk this out,'” he said.
Sensing the woman’s desperation, John reached out, hooking his arms into hers. As he held her tight, refusing to let her jump, the heroic umpire mouthed to another pedestrian to call 911 for help.
As John held tight, the suicidal woman begged him to let her go, saying he’d forget about her by the next day.
“I'll never forget you,” he assured her. “You can have my promise on that.”
As they waited for help to arrive, the woman tried several times to break free. She let both of her legs slip free from the ledge. It was no easy feat, but God gave John the strength to hold on.
“I just thought I’m going to hang on and hang on and I’m not going to let go …” he recalled. “Obviously your adrenaline is going, and I think you get that inner strength that you never thought you had, especially when you have someone else’s life in your hands.”
A Searing Memory
Eventually rescue crews arrived, and took the suicidal woman to the hospital. And after the umpire saved her life, he went on to work. The whole time he was thinking about the woman he’d saved. In fact, John could see the Roberto Clemente Bridge from his spot behind home plate.
“You try to regain composure and obviously you’re thinking of everything that just happened and obviously there’s other ways that situation could’ve played out,” he said.
Needless to say, once the story of how the umpire saved the suicidal woman spread, John was hailed as a hero. But the humble man shrugs off all of the praise.
“This isn’t a story about me,” he said. “Honestly, this is a story about her getting better.”
Despite the woman’s insistence that John would soon forget her, he’s done no such thing. John says he hopes to track her down one day and give her a hug.
“I think something like this just shows that there’s more meaningful things in life, and how precious life is,” he said. “I hope she’s doing all right, and I hope to see her again.”
WATCH: Heroic Umpire Saved Suicidal Woman’s Life
God clearly put John on that bridge for a reason. Our prayers go out for the woman he saved, that she will find her worth and healing in Christ Jesus!
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