After a truck hit 80-year-old Maryalice McGrath, Philadelphia police officer Francis Lynch realized he couldn’t save her. But what he could do was stay by her side until the end. And his heartwarming gesture meant the world to the elderly woman’s grieving family!
80-year-old Maryalice McGrath didn’t get behind the wheel much anymore. Instead, she relied on her feet for most of her independent travel.
“She didn’t drive many places, but she did walk often and she had gone that day to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription,” explained Molly Quinn, the woman’s niece.
On her way back home, the driver of a truck failed to spot for Maryalice while she was crossing the intersection. And Philadelphia police officer Francis Lynch, who was at the intersection too, could do nothing to stop the truck from hitting the elderly woman.
Officer Lynch immediately called for an ambulance and back up. But Maryalice’s injuries were beyond his abilities to treat. He knew he couldn’t save her.
So, he did the only thing he could. And the incredible act of compassion is touching hearts all over!
Unable to save the injured 80-year-old woman, the Philadelphia police officer did the next best thing. He laid down next to her for 30 minutes in traffic and stayed by her side as her soul departed from this world.
It was a scorching day in July, so that meant the hot pavement burned Officer Lynch’s skin as he laid there. In fact, he suffered burns so serious, they would later need to be treated at the hospital.
But none of that mattered to the compassionate Philadelphia police officer. He wanted Maryalice to know she wasn’t alone, no matter the cost to his own safety.
Hero’s Actions Bless Victim’s Grieving Family
Watching the 80-year-old woman die and knowing he could do nothing to stop it has been very hard on Officer Lynch. The memories still haunt him, especially when he crosses the intersection of the accident. And he refuses to see himself as a hero, despite what everyone else says.
“I’m sure it’s going to take more time for me,” he says. “But I still have a job to do and I’ve got to keep doing that.”
And while it was a terrible thing to experience, the Philadelphia police officer’s selfless act has been a blessing for Maryalice’s grieving family.
God called Officer Lynch to that intersection for a reason. His purpose wasn’t to save the woman’s life but to bring her comfort and peace as she left for Heaven.
“I think he was there for a reason and he was her guardian angel,” Molly said. “And he went above and beyond the call of duty by just lying in the street next to this poor woman when she needed him.”
In a time when so many people are dying alone due to the coronavirus pandemic, Maryalice’s family finds comfort in knowing their loved one wasn’t alone.
So often we think being the hero means fixing the problem or saving the day. But sometimes God is simply calling us to be there. He can use our presence to remind others of His love. We just need to be still and trust Him!
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“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
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