Six years later, man reunited with stranger who kept him from killing himself

Six years ago, Jonny Benjamin climbed to the edge of the Waterloo Bridge in London intending to jump to his death. But a stranger told him it would be OK, and offered to buy him a cup of coffee if he’d climb down from the railings. He climbed down and lived to tell his story.

The police were waiting to help him and Benjamin, who has schizophrenia, never saw his new friend again. He only knew him as “Mike.”

So two weeks ago, on the anniversary of what would have been his death, Benjamin, now 26, launched a campaign on social media to “find Mike.”

It didn’t take long before Neil Laybourn, 31, came forward, the Daily Mirror says.

“I was so pleased to see how well Jonny was doing, I had thought about him over the years and had always hoped he was OK.

“When we met, it was clear how much that encounter on the bridge meant to Jonny, he told me it was a pivotal moment in his life – which was great to hear.

“I didn’t feel it was that big a deal, I did what anyone would do.

“I wasn’t trying to fix his problems that day, I just listened.

“I can honestly say, hand on heart that Jonny is one of the nicest people I have ever met, he’s a great bloke and it’s brilliant to see him smiling again.”

Today, announcing the search was over, the charity, Rethink Mental Illness, posted this video of the reunion.

(h/t: Nate Minor)

  • John

    “The kindness of a stranger…….” Just reminds me of what I’ve been taught. Really glad that Jonny is able to find the help he needs. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jack

    Well put John. If only we could all respond in the same way to a stranger or a friend.