The suffering of a Toronto van attack Good Samaritan

first_imgTORONTO – I am still trying to make sense of what happened on Yonge Street on a beautiful spring day one year ago.I don’t think any of us will ever truly understand it — how can you comprehend the incomprehensible?I spent hours at the scene that day, just a few feet from where covered bodies lay, wondering who they were, about the lives they were robbed of and who would be mourning them. The next day we started finding out their names, their faces, their lost futures. Each story added to the heartache.But amidst the horror of that day there were people who showed us the very best of humanity: the first responders and Good Samaritans.In the coming days and months, I got to know one of them. His name is Rob Greco.Rob was driving to work when he saw the unthinkable unfold in front of him — he watched as a van plowed through pedestrians on Yonge Street, indiscriminately hitting almost everyone in its path.He jumped out of his vehicle to help a young woman named Anne Marie D’Amico as she lay dying, holding her hand and giving her words of comfort. He didn’t want her to be alone.I met him the day after the attack, and his pain was so palpable it brought me to tears. I spent much of the interview wiping them away.It is his pure goodness that adds to the heartache; a man who simply, unselfishly, wanted to help someone in need without thinking of the consequences. He is the person we all hope we would be, but he is paying a heavy price for his compassion.Rob now has post-traumatic stress disorder — he struggles daily and his life may never be the same.I spoke to him again as the one-year anniversary of the attack approached — it was an emotional talk.Rob’s pain is still fresh, yet he says that a year later he does not regret being with Anne Marie in her final moments. When he told me that, I looked at him and said, “You’re a good man Rob Greco.”Rob told me that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever be himself again. He is seeing a therapist, but the effect of those moments on Yonge Street is long-lasting.We as a society need to do more to help those who put others before themselves. They are the best of our society, and that’s why I’m going to say it again: You are a good man Rob Greco.last_img

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