Every year, June ushers in the beauty of nature, with flowers blooming, birds singing, and the laughter of children as the school year ends. The summer season is joyous for the most part.
However, this June in the midst of all the beauty, we have been exposed to more turbulent times with back-to-back shootings in our community. As things begin to seem disastrous, there are people, “Samaritans” with great compassion and empathy, who step in, step up, and are willing to make a difference. These good people renew our hope in the city of Peoria. Indeed, there are many in our city who are caring and reach out to others in the time of need. The excerpt below is a Facebook post written by my niece, Larnita Bell-Butler.
I know when you’re in the medical field we get a lot of training, but when real life situations happen what would you do? Honestly, you can’t say. On June 1, 2017 I was put in this scenario. I went to sleep pretty early because I had to work at 4am. I made sure all the kids were in the house and my mom had just left from doing laundry. I turned the alarm on and dozed off. I was awakened by screaming and family saying call 911! Someone just got shot outside!
I jumped up, half-dressed. I quickly ran outside. I’m still puzzled because I was so tired. I hear this baby screaming “I’m shot! I’m shot!” “Help me!” I just stood there frozen. My body was so numb. Everyone is screaming, “He’s saying he can’t breathe.” I had to gather my thoughts on what to do next. As he was slipping down to the porch floor next door to my house I quickly ran over there and to my surprise I knew the young man. I knew him well because my daughter had once dated him and I didn’t approve of it because of the age difference.
But as a mom I had to put those differences to the side and stop this baby’s bleeding. It was coming out fast. I knew he could bleed out if I didn’t act fast. So mommy mode kicked in. I’m screaming, “Towels! Towels! Lots of clean towels!” Before I knew it I was surrounded by all the towels in my home. I didn’t care. Those can be replaced, his life couldn’t. And I was also nervous because he was just shot! Who’s to say the shooter wouldn’t come back and start shooting again!
As I was applying pressure, not knowing exactly where he was shot, I just put the towels where I saw the most blood– all over his backside. I’m telling him to stay calm, but my heart was beating out of my chest. So I just started praying. I know God wouldn’t let me down. He got quiet. I got scared and started screaming his name like, “Talk! Don’t stop talking!” At that point I didn’t care what he was talking about, I was just happy he was able to talk!
Finally, we hear the sirens. Thank you God for sparing that baby’s life! It could’ve very well been one of mine. I emailed him the next morning and he thanked me over and over again. Moral of the story: even though every time I used to see him my nose went up and he’d smile and say, “So you still don’t like me?” I’d be like, “Nope!” And we’d both start laughing. You’ll never know when God will put you in position to take care of people you would normally walk past on a day-to-day basis. Get well, Lil Dude. Get out the hospital, and change your life! You only get one.