Homeless man James Pocock is being hailed as a hero after he saved a trucker who suffered a heart attack while driving, causing him to crash into the side of the road.
James, who was camping out at his usual spot by interstate Exit 12 in Williston, Vermont, witnessed the moment when Paul Bristol succumbed to a heart attack and lost control of his vehicle. James leapt into action, pulling Paul out of the vehicle and reviving him with CPR.
While James was honored by the local fire department for his heroic actions, Paul’s family friend Lynnea Bergevin Nicols went one step further and created a GoFundMe to raise money for James’s livelihood.
When James was featured in the Burlington Free Press for his good deed, Lynnea recognized him as a homeless man whom she had bought new jeans for while Christmas shopping with her children. James had been standing on the side of the road with a tattered pair of jeans sign listing his measurements – and Lynnea had been more than happy to fulfill his request.
Now, after her crowdfunding page has already raised almost $15,000, the two are closer than ever.
The mom had never expected the campaign to receive such widespread support – especially since she had only set the goal for $2,000 after James made the news.
“I had no idea this was going to happen, no idea what to expect. I was thinking I would set the limit at $5K but then said oh never mind I’ll just set it at $2K. Then it just took off, the next day was insane!” Lynnea told Good News Network. “He is so flabbergasted. He has moments of just ‘whoa’.”
But what James is the most excited to use his money for, isn’t exactly steady meals or new pants: it’s a new prescription for his glasses, which he hasn’t been able to renew for the last three years.
“James turned to me and said ‘you know there’s something I really want if I could have anything’, and then he pulls out his eye prescription from 2014 and asked for new glasses. We were like, yes, of course we can do that!”
After a much-needed doctor’s appointment, James is currently in a hotel until he is moved into housing on Monday. Lynnea is currently working on finding James a job and organizing the campaign’s funding. James’s final request, however, is that 10% of the campaign funds go to charity.
“He’s a really sweet guy and always so appreciative. Just a really sweet guy,” Lynnea told Good News Network. “His message to people is not to make a snap decision about what someone looks like or their circumstance because the homeless community is full of great people.”
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