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After falling on the street, a woman made it to a big meeting thanks to two strangers

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Time now for "My Unsung Hero" from the team at Hidden Brain, sharing the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else. Today's story comes from Vige Barrie. Vige has mild cerebral palsy and, because of the disease, she occasionally trips and falls. One day in 2017, she was in Washington, D.C., for an important meeting. Little did she know, she was about to meet her unsung heroes, Kevin and Mary.

VIGE BARRIE: That morning in June, it was bright and beautiful. I felt very confident in what I was wearing. I was walking along L Street, toward my meeting. And without warning, I fell. I fell badly. I fell on my face. My glasses cut into my eyelid. My cheeks were torn up. I was bleeding. All I wanted to do was jump up and grab my glasses and avoid any further embarrassment.

I heard a voice from the man I had noticed earlier standing in a garage. I thought he was a garage attendant. He ran over to me and picked me off the sidewalk. And he walked me - rushed me, actually - into a building and down an office hallway. And I heard him yelling, Mary, Mary, come, it's an emergency. And he rushed me into a bathroom, and Mary appeared. And Mary was the building concierge. Mary took over, and Kevin ran for a first aid kit.

And Mary, just automatically, even though I had left a trail of blood - she took over, washing me - washing my face, washing my hair, trying to get the blood off my clothes, soothing me. I was babbling. I was so embarrassed. But more than that, I was deeply demoralized that this had happened to me yet again - and at what an awful moment. I needed to be somewhere very important, and yet here I was a mess. What would have happened had they not picked me off the sidewalk? And here she was trying to bandage me - to make me look somewhat presentable. Between the two of them, Kevin and Mary, they put me together and encouraged me that it was going to be all right.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHANG: Vige Barrie of Clinton, N.Y. - in the end, Vige made it to her meeting thanks to the kindness of Mary and Kevin. You can find more stories like this on the "My Unsung Hero" podcast. And to share the story of your unsung hero, visit myunsunghero.org for instructions on how to send a voice memo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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