Thank you to … the strangers who helped my family in a time of trauma

Dear Tom and Lisa Grimshaw,

When I am on tour I often worry about how my family are getting on. Most of the time it is clear that they manage much better without me.

Recently my wife was at the park with the kids, helping our youngest on the climbing frame. In what seems to be our family’s attempt to recreate a scene from Casualty, one of our other sons was winded from being hit in the chest by a football. As he ran over to my wife for some TLC, he tripped, hit his head and knocked himself unconscious. It was horrible.

You, Tom, immediately ran up and checked him over, before calling to my wife to get an ambulance. Then you, Lisa, went to get ice, and Tom kept a watch over Alex while my wife made the phonecall. The wait for the ambulance was a long one and the other two boys were obviously upset, as was my wife. You two did everything you could to help, staying to wait so that my wife wasn’t alone in an obviously traumatic situation. The ambulance arrived and a trip to the hospital confirmed that Alex would be OK – save for the monitoring of his sleep and the parental fear that makes you poke them awake to make sure they are OK and then try to get them to go back to sleep again, every hour on the hour.

When my wife relayed this story to me, two things became clear: first, you had made a horrific situation bearable for her, and you went above and beyond the call of stranger duty to help her out; secondly, there is no way I would have been as effective as you had I been there. I would have very probably added to the number of people my wife had to calm down.

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She was incredibly grateful, not to mention surprised, that you both went so far out of your way to help. She also reiterated to me how calm and effective you were at length. In fact, to the point that you might suspect she was trying to hammer home some sort of message.

Tom and Lucy – I want to thank you for stepping in and helping my family while I was away. Not only did you restore our faith in the kindness of strangers, you provided an example to my family of what a father and husband could be, so that going forward I can be forever compared to your benchmark. In all seriousness, though, what you did was a wonderful thing and I cannot tell you how grateful we are. You didn’t hesitate to step in and help people you didn’t know, in a beautiful example of the strength of community. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.



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