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Monthly Hero: Medford mom saves boy from long fall

August 15, 2012


By Michal Ann McArthur,
Bend writer

Medford woman Kristen Beach, 21, caught a toddler as he fell from the roof of a two-story building. She probably saved his life.

On July 1, Beach was standing in front of her apartment chatting with her mother when she heard the toddler screaming. She looked up and saw him dangling from the roof ledge of the building across the street.

Beach told her mother to call 9-1-1 and immediately ran to get under the boy. She shouted for someone to help him, but nobody responded. She talked to him for a couple of minutes and told him, “It’s okay, baby. I’m right here. I’ll catch you if you fall.”

Without warning, the boy let go and she made the perfect catch. Her knees buckled as he dropped into her arms, but she was able to hold on. She and the child were both in tears, but he was unharmed.

“There wasn’t time to think,” she said. “My mother instinct just took over.” Beach has a son about the same age as the toddler. In fact, the toddler was wearing a red striped shirt very similar to a shirt her own son wears.

I wondered how the toddler got on the roof in the first place. She said that the toddler’s family lives in an apartment in the building and that he simply opened the window and stepped onto the roof. She had seen him and his baby sister playing on the roof about two months earlier and had called 9-1-1 at that time to report, “There’s a little boy in diapers on the roof looking over the edge.”

Her story was prominently featured in the Medford Mail Tribune and she was honored by the City with a resolution. I asked her how her experience had changed her life. She said, “I’m a lot more cautious now. I keep close watch on my own son.” She also reported that she has received quite a bit of attention, “all of it positive.” She relives the experience and thinks about it every day. “It’s unbelievable. It feels good to know that I made a difference in somebody else’s life.”

Beach is presently unemployed and is looking for work. She is interested in art and sketches portraits in pencil. “The best thing that could happen to me now is finding a job,” she said.

Now if the right job would just fall and she could catch that . . .

Editor:   Love heroes?  Nominate a local Oregon woman for hero of the month by emailing us at oregon@oregonreprot.com.   Our July Hero was a Bandon woman who makes art out of beach trash.   Our June hero is another local woman who took down a corrupt sheriff.   Send us your hero stories.

  
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Discuss this article

Amy C. August 15, 2012

A mom always says she will catch you when you fall. She means it.

anon August 15, 2012

Scary.

F. Olsen August 15, 2012

Beach is my kind of woman. Good for her.

Kay August 15, 2012

WOW! The parents must be very thankful…good catch. Amazing how little ones can get to places. Hope she catches a job soon…

Andrea Parunak August 15, 2012

What a beautiful story! It brings tears to my eyes.

Jennifer August 15, 2012

Whoa! What a landing! I bet she will have a special place in her heart for that little one for the rest of her life.

Alpine Dan August 15, 2012

What a great story.

Carlie August 15, 2012

Whew! So glad that the little man is okay. What an exciting moment that catch must have been. I sure hope she finds a job as a result of all the attention.

Claryce August 15, 2012

That had to have been a “heart thumping” experience. Wonder what sort of job God was preparing her for?

Kathi August 16, 2012

Fabulous story. Something you just never imagine would actually happen…and that Kristin could actually catch the tyke and hang on to him so that they were both okay! I hope that child’s parents lock the window so their little guy can’t get out again, and I hope someone offers Kristin a job. She deserves a break! I like your last line, Michal Ann; very clever!

Jan August 16, 2012

Amazing! I can only imagine the emotions Kristin must have experienced as that little guy was falling and what joy to have caught him! A job for Kristin is definitely in order.

Iris Robbins August 16, 2012

Glad to see the City recognizing her.

Judy August 16, 2012

Your heroine story is very refreshing as wars rage and politicians in an election year fill the media with their own kind of war – words. Keep encouraging us with the realities of life that shed positive light in a broken world.

Yvonne August 17, 2012

You touched my heart with your story. I pray she lands the job she needs. Thanks for brightening our day with good news!!

John Ward August 18, 2012

Very scary story. Good learning lesson for for all parents (and grandparents). Thanks.

Gene August 19, 2012

Wow. Quick thinking.

T. Taylor August 20, 2012

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Hats off to Beach for staying calm in what had to be a very frightening experience.
None of us knows when we might be called upon to “make a difference”. I hope I’m as able as Beach.
Thanks for sharing this inspiring story and here’s hoping a job lands in Beach’s lap soon.

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