Monthly Hero: Medford mom saves boy from long fall

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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 [email protected]   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.