With a Bear Hug and a Prayer He Saved a Life in Orlando

Love wins. Every time no matter how strong the hate love always wins. Consider the meeting of Joshua McGill and Rodney Sumter. Both were in the club in Orlando when a terrorist opened fire, McGill got out but Sumter was hit with three bullets.

As McGill hid outside in the parking lot, just glad to be alive, he saw a man in the shadows stumble outside bleeding. It was Rodney. Joshua didn’t know him but left the safety of his hiding place and ran to Rodney. He saw one arm bleeding from a gunshot wound so he took off his shirt and tied off the wound to stop it. Then he saw Rodney’s other arm was also hit so he took off Rodney’s shirt and tied a tourniquet for that wound. He checked him for other injuries and saw the 27 year old bartender had a bullet hole in his back. This wound was the worst of the three and would likely take his life. There was no shirt to stop the bleeding so he carried him to a nearby police officer. hero1

As the officer rushed Sumter to the hospital Joshua McGill stayed with this man he never met and laid down in the backseat of the patrol car with Rodney directly on top of him. He then wrapped his arms around him and gave him a bear hug applying as much pressure as he could to close the wound and keep him from bleeding out. Imagine these two face to face in such a horrible situation hoping beyond hope to get to the hospital in time.

Joshua said, “I don’t know if you’re religious but I want to say a prayer for you.” He did that and told Rodney over and over again, “We’re almost there. Stick with me. I promise you everything is going to be OK.”

When the FBI released the names of all those killed do you know what name was not on the list? Rodney Sumter. After multiple surgeries he is in stable condition and he’s going to live. All because a young man he didn’t know left the safety of the shadows to rescue him, to stop the bleeding, to give him a hug that saved his life.

As your heart sinks from this tragedy I want you to remember the love and kindness that also emerged. It never fails that when things are at their absolute worst… that is when we see the best in people. People like Josh McGill.

Like I said, love wins.

Read more Gray Matters.

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