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When she slipped on the stairs in a busy store, a savior rushed to catch her

Heather Church says she doesn't know what could have happened if someone didn't come to her rescue.
Heather Church
Heather Church says she doesn't know what could have happened if someone didn't come to her rescue.

This story is part of the My Unsung Hero series, from the Hidden Brain team, about people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else.


Heather Church will never forget the day, many years ago, when she walked into a busy clothing store in New York City. As she descended the stairs, her long skirt caught on her boot, and she was thrown off balance.

"I felt my hand reach for the railing and miss it," she recalled. "And my body twisted as my boot tugged on my skirt. And suddenly I was falling down the stairs backwards."

Just then she heard footsteps running towards her. Someone had seen her falling and caught her, just in time. Without that person's help, she doesn't know what might have happened.

"My head didn't hit those hard stairs," she said. "And I didn't suffer any injuries."

Church hopes that the stranger at the store might come across her story, and understand how much their actions continue to impact her, all these years later.

"I don't know who that person is ... I can't even remember their face," she said. "But I do remember what they did for me that day. And I remain grateful."

My Unsung Hero is also a podcast — new episodes are released every Tuesday. To share the story of your unsung hero with the Hidden Brain team, record a voice memo on your phone and send it to myunsunghero@hiddenbrain.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laura Kwerel
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