By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
Author’s Note: Grace Under Pressure is an ongoing series of posts honoring everyday people who courageously make positive differences in their own lives and consequently in the lives of others. It is my own personal affirmation that unexpected heroes live among us and that their service is quiet but unshakable proof that virtue really is its own reward – and ours, too. You can read all of the Grace Under Pressure series by going to the blog search box and typing in the word “grace.”
Eight-months pregnant, Keaton Mason felt that unmistakable feeling around 9:30 p.m. while sitting in her home in Oklahoma City. Summoning her fiance’ and grabbing her bug-out bag, the pair jumped into their white Honda and headed to the hospital. The timing seemed fine as they were only a short drive from the facility, but Baby Tatum had another plan in mind. Pulling off at the first exit they could find on I-40, they screeched to a stop just beside some semis at a large truck stop. The young couple was panicked and a small crowd of the helpless began to form. No one had medical training and no one around had any expertise past calling the 911.
No one that is except Gary Wilson. Wilson, who was homeless and hitchhiking from Montana to warmer environs in Florida, came over to see just what the commotion was about. Seeing the fear and frustration in the eyes of Keaton, Wilson jumped into the backseat and assessed the scene. What he found was a four-weeks early preemie that was blue from anoxia and unconscious. The umbilical cord was wrapped serpent-like around the baby’s throat and both Keaton and Wilson were fully aware of the danger. “My baby’s blue, my baby’s blue … she’s not breathing,” she screamed into the cell phone held near her mouth.
Wilson couldn’t bear the fettle and settled in near the new mother. Unwrapping the cord, he freed the baby’s neck from a sure death grip and then tied off the umbilicalis. He massaged the newborn’s back until normal respiration occurred, all the while assuring the desperate parents that things would “be alright.” Baby Tatum was returned to her mother’s arms as paramedics arrived. Gary Wilson faded into the crowd at the truck stop.
“He did everything right,” said paramedic Sandra Lesperance, who responded to the scene. Keaton was finally relieved and expressed gratitude to her savior, “He kept me pretty clam actually. He kept saying ‘everything’s ok. She’s breathing.’”
No one got a real good description of Wilson who was last seen walking along the highway with a hand-lettered sign reading “MEMPHIS.” Truck stop employee Waneva Morris recalls, “He had the long hair, the long beard.” Then this lady in the buckle of the Bible Belt added, “I would describe him as kind of looking like Jesus.”
Besides a few on-scene thanks and a free hot meal, no recognition or accolade went to Gary Wilson. In fact, no one’s sure what ever happened to the homeless man who just decided to get involved. What medical training he obtained in another lifetime was never explained. His cool, calm demeanor in the face of real crisis is as mysterious as the man.
What is sure is that humans are a curious lot. A man with all the attributes most find valuable from both an economic and character standpoint is hitchhiking the roadways in relative poverty and obscurity. If by necessity, it says a lot about how we judge and value our fellow man. If by choice, I like to think Gary Wilson’s lying on a beach somewhere and basking in both the Florida sun and the unspoken satisfaction of saving a life for the pure goodness of it.
Tatum’s almost 2-years-old and doing well. He parents tease her about being delivered by Jesus and who knows? Even to these skeptical eyes, the birth does seem … well … miraculous.
~Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
By the way and for better or worse, the views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not necessarily those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays of art are solely the author’s decision and responsibility. No infringement of intellectual property rights is intended and will be remedied upon notice from the owner. Fair use is however asserted for such inclusions of quotes, excerpts, photos, art, and the like.
66 thoughts on “Grace Under Pressure: Gary Wilson And The Jesus Delivery”
pete – those ratings are from 2011. Here are the latest ratings.
paul – kinda like winning a beauty contest at a leper colony
I’m glad it worked out for him TL. Nice to hear he is back.
Cool! I just finished having several days of excellent help from a homeless person up here in the Bakken, eastern Montana. Its hard to get help around here. MacDonalds is only open about 40 hours a week due to low staffing. But Jeff had made his way back to the Bakken from So Cal in his pickup truck a few months ago. Then he got it in a roll-over wreck, spent weeks in hospital and ended up homeless and without a vehicle He didn’t ask or expect any government handouts, slept for three weeks in a crude bus shelter and took odd jobs here and there until he eventually got a good comercial driving job, running a cement truck. He starts that tomorrow, but heck, his punctuality and work helping me set up rugs and flags for my dailly sales was really excellent. Only after a week did I find out he had a CDL and had run a small fleet of three trucks in the past. He was totally willing to do whatever it took to get back up on his feet!
lost one here.
Fox News is not a religious organization.
not a news organization either
if i recall the wording it’s a “cable subscriber only entertainment channel”.
Pete, I retrieved your comment at 1:59.
pete – Fox News is the most watched cable NEWS channel.
It must be Hate The U.S. Sunday. Of course, for some here that’s every day. If we are so terrible why the hell do millions risk their lives getting here and do everything possible not to leave??
“Then this lady in the buckle of the Bible Belt added, “I would describe him as kind of looking like Jesus.” ”
= = =
He’s only Jesus if he’s carrying an AR 15… ‘Cuz, well the blue eyes and fair skin isn’t a big enough give away!
po@minutebol wrote “directly related to US policies in that region”
It’s even worse than that. Reagan sent large quantities of weaponry to Nicaragua and other countries in the region. These weapons, including grenades and fully-automatic rifles, were eventually found by the drug gangs. This is a major reason why the violence has exploded. The ignorant media concentrates on rifles bought from gun shops just north of the border, but gun shops in the U.S. do not sell machine guns.
The 16 most dangerous cities in the world are all in Central and South America, with Honduras taking 1st and 4th honors.
P.S. Someone will post a opinion that semi-automatic weapons are easy to convert to automatic mode, but that is nonsense. Ask any gunsmith.
One of the issues Karen is not seeing blinded by her so myopic view is that whatever those circumstances causing that mass immigration we see, are directly related to US policies in that region. Whether supporting commercial interests that disturbed local (there) agriculture and food production, commercial interests that undermined societal systems, commercial interests that benefited local (here) companies, or the direct undermining of political systems under our misguided foreign policies, these children fleeing the violence at home to seek refuge here are merely the chickens coming to roost. A coup happened in Honduras that we refused to call a coup, and we also refused to assist a democratically elected president because of his rapprochement with Chavez and the socialist block of Venezuela and Ecuador (perhaps even assisted in this coup). The army is in charge, and through corruption and laissez faire, Honduras is now an important transit point in the American/South American drug trade, and where the drug trade thrives so do the gangs and violence. Here we are.
Elaine or whoever, please release my last post. Thanks.
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