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Passersby set good example

In a day and age when much of the news often leads to a sense of depression and we are programmed to view passersby as potential threats, it is refreshing to learn that there are still good Samaritans in the world.

It’s reassuring to know that some of our neighbors care enough about their fellow human beings to offer aid in times of trouble, even when they are busy and the person who needs help is a stranger.

Last week, longtime Denton resident Irene Burk told us about three good Samaritans who came to her rescue. She was leaving a grocery store on University Drive, Burk said, when she found herself gasping for air.

“I sometimes have 12 percent lung capacity, and a few times a year, I just go into respiratory arrest,” Burk told us.

Burk said that when she got back to her car after shopping, two men noticed she was having difficulty breathing and asked if she was all right. She waved them on, Burk said, but noticed that they kept an eye on her as they walked away.

Just seconds later, another man pulled up alongside her car while she was sitting inside. This time, Burk said, she was completely out of breath and asked the man to call for help.

As he did so, the other two men ran back, shouting for someone to call an ambulance. They also helped her into a nearby store where it was cooler.

A Denton emergency response team arrived just a minute later, Burk said, and once she was hooked up to an oxygen machine, she started feeling much better.

Burk praised the quick response of the emergency team, but she also gave a lot of credit to the three men who stopped to help her. She wasn’t able to get their names.

“I couldn’t breathe and I get teary-eyed just thinking about how complete strangers helped me,” Burk said. “They saved my life and I just want to thank everyone that helped.”

The actions of these three good Samaritans are commendable. They didn’t hesitate to offer help when they saw that Burk was having difficulty breathing, and the result was a much happier ending than what might have occurred. Fire officials told us that timing is critical when a patient is deprived of oxygen.

The world today seems to move at a much faster pace than it once did, and it’s easy to get caught up in the rush, to forget the needs of others.

But we should always remember the example of these good Samaritans and strive to treat people the way that we would like to be treated.

That might seem like an old-fashioned idea in a time when many people don’t even bother to get to know their next-door neighbors, but it’s the right thing to do.

Plus, there may come a time when you need a helping hand yourself.