How’s this for a pro-life story? Details:
A San Francisco man who almost took his life eight years ago by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge has been reunited with the hero who saved his life.
Kevin Berthia was perched on the iconic bridge ready to take a fatal leap on March 11, 2005, when he heard the voice of California Highway Patrol officer Kevin Briggs calling out to him from above.
Over 60 life-changing minutes, Briggs managed to convince Berthia, as he has done with hundreds of suicidal men and women, to climb back over the rail and give life another shot. Since that significant day Berthia hasn’t looked back and is now happily married with two children.
And this week he was able to thank the man who made all that possible. The pair reunited as part of an emotional ceremony honoring Briggs and other members of the CHP known as the Guardians of the Golden Gate Bridge, whose job it is to gently talk people like Berthia down from the structure.
‘It was phenomenal,’ Berthia, 30, told Yahoo News about the reunion at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention public service ceremony.
‘I didn’t know what I was going to feel, or how I was going to react,’ he said. ‘But when I first saw him, he walked up me and I just shook his hand. It felt like I had known this man my whole life. The nerves weren’t there. It was just two old friends being reunited.’
As he presented Briggs with the award, Bertha explained how grateful he was for Briggs’ help and urged others to seek help, insisting they could too get better and life a fulfilled life.
‘I didn’t want him to try and stop me but now I’m glad he did,’ he told the crowd. ‘All I can say is that I am truly grateful. You gave me an opportunity to live.’