On May 10, 2016, a woman named Rosemary Heath and her husband George went to their local mall in Taunton, Massachusetts to get dinner and see Captain America together. The pair had just sat down at the bar when what Rosemary refers to as a “night of mayhem” ensued. Out of the blue, just after Rosemary and George ordered their drinks, a mentally ill man burst through the front door of the restaurant and began stabbing as many people as he could.
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Rosemary remembers a waitress named Sheenah Savoy locking eyes with her and screaming for help as the stranger stabbed her multiple times. Sheenah was 8 weeks pregnant. That’s when her husband George, age 56, sprang from his seat and tried to wrestle the knife-man to the ground.
The assailant stabbed George in the head before turning to rushing at the family of an off-duty police officer; the officer shot and fatally wounded the assailant.
Rosemary said she knew George wouldn’t survive the horrific attack, but she did have a moment to say goodbye before her husband was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Thanks to George’s heroism– and the quick action of that off-duty police officer– the waitress, Sheenah, not only survived the attack, she later gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She credits her daughter’s life to George’s selflessness that night.
Rosemary recently reached out to InspireMore after reading a story we shared about a garbage company who provided free services to the family of a child with cancer.
She contacted us, not to tell us about her husband’s heroic deeds, but to brag on how her community has loved her and supported her so well in the aftermath of that fateful day.
One act of kindness that stood out to Rosemary was the generosity of a man named Derek Lima of Lima Landscaping. Derek contacted Rosemary through Facebook and offered an entire season of free yard work to her.
“It saved me from embarrassment to my neighbors,” joked Rosemary. But, in all seriousness, Rosemary said their kindness was a huge blessing. “They took care of the front and back yards for me. Every week. All summer… He made my yard look as if George were here himself!”
Rosemary was blown away by the company’s generosity and humility. “They didn’t do it for ANY notoriety, they didn’t say anything to anyone. Just me.”
In the wake of tragedy, it’s the humble acts of kindess that bring light back into the world. As Rosemary put it, “Community at its best.”
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