In keeping with my desire to focus on positive stories and to share those, I have chosen this week's blog to feature a young man named Jeremiah Cribb.
Jeremiah was a 24 year old contractor working for FedEx in North Carolina. In the early morning hours of 2/19/20, he saw a stranded motorist on the Yadkin River Bridge, Northbound on I-85. It was dark at 2:00am, and he knew that the motorists were in danger, and without a thought of his own safety, he parked the truck, and got out to assist the motorists, helping clear debris re-direct traffic and call 9-11. As he tended to the emergency, an 18 wheeler approached rapidly, and Jeremiah had to move quickly in order to avoid being hit by the on-coming truck. Jumping over the median, unable to see in the dark, he expected there to be grass under his feet. Instead, he went into a 75 foot free fall, landing on a sand bar in the river, miraculously surviving with 3 broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He was able to stand and participate in being harness lifted by Salisbury rescue professionals who had to rappel down the side of the bridge in a 45 minute rescue.
I was lying on the floor of my apartment after work listening to this story on the BBC. Unexpectedly, I heard Jeremiah being interviewed a few days after his accident. The soft spoken young man declared that he had no regrets, that he loved to help people, and that as soon as he was healed, he would go out looking for more opportunities to help someone. When asked if FedEx had reached out to him in any way, he replied that they had contacted him to see if the truck was okay. His voice did not sound bitter, he wasn't playing "the victim". Calmly reporting how it felt after he hit the ground, he mused that he wasn't sure if he was going to die, so he looked for his cell phone in the dark to call his mom and hear her voice. When the rescue team arrived, he asked them if someone could drive him to the hospital because he was uninsured and didn't have the money to pay for an ambulance. He did have to go in the ambulance. His sister had started a Go Fund Me page for him, humbly asking for $10,000 (https://www.gofundme.com/f/jeremiah-cribb)
As I listened to him speak, tears filled my eyes.
Of course I made a contribution. And I posted the link on my facebook page. Then, in the spirit of my father, I wrote a letter to Fred W. Smith, the founder and CEO of FedEx, Fred Smith.
Fred Smith is a decorated Marine in the Vietnam War, earning a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and two Purple hearts for his service and bravery. His current net worth exceeds 5 billion dollars. Yes, I am grateful for and respectful of the freedoms I enjoy due to the sacrifices of our veterans. Mr. Smith's financial status does NOT deflect from his great military service. In my letter, I asked, "Has not Jeremiah Cribb the same selfless bravery and heart?" Does he NOT deserve to have his hospital bills graciously paid using the bounty of a company that is profiting from his hard work? The character, kindness, strength and humilty of Jeremiah is an asset to ANY company, and FedEx Corporate would do wisely and well to nurture and care for an employee like that. Not to go without mention are the hundreds of everyday Americans (and Canadians) who have up to this point made small and large donations that exceed $13,000 at the time of this writing. All good souls who saw the goodness of this man, who are uninsured like this man, and who have sons, brothers and nephews that could have been hurt in similar circumstances. I do have to state that at this time, I do not know if FedEx has offered any assistance. I will follow up on this story and keep you updated.
Remember we have to take care of one another, and look for opportunities to help in small and large ways. Remember to look for what you have in common with someone. Thank you for reading, my NEXT Blog features my twin sister and her music. Stay tuned!