More than twelve years ago, this man from the San Francisco Bay area fell deep into debt and subsequently, depression, and felt there was no other way out. That’s when he made his way over to the Golden Gate Bridge to do something tragically desperate.
Kevin Berthia was buried in medical costs, which amounted to nearly $250,000, after his baby girl, who had been born prematurely, required special care.
Kevin was planning to end his own life by jumping.
“I was overwhelmed with everything,” he shared. “It’s like everything that I ever was bothered by, everything that I was ever dealing with came up on one day. And I just felt like a failure. All I gotta do is lean back and everything is done. I’m free of all this pain.”
“Before March 11, 2005, I never even went to the bridge,” the 32-year-old father said. “I didn’t even know how to get there. I had to ask for directions.”
Luckily for Kevin, Officer Briggs of the California Highway Patrol happened to be patrolling the bridge that day, and found Kevin in time. After about 90 minutes of back and forth, eventually, Briggs gained the desperate man’s trust, and talked him out of making a big mistake. After taking Kevin to the hospital, they went their separate ways, not to meet again until years later.
Kevin hasn’t looked back since then. He is now happily married with two children—thanks to Officer Briggs.
Ten years later, the two reunited at an emotional ceremony in honor of Briggs, who is known as the “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Officer Briggs, who regularly patrolled the bridge, has helped save over 200 people from committing suicide by jumping.
Sadly, every year, 1 million adults report having attempted suicide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die from having committed suicide every year worldwide.
What’s most important is for those who are having suicidal thoughts to know that they are not alone, and that there are people who are there to support them. The last thing one should do is abandon someone who is suicidal.
During their reunion, Officer Briggs and Kevin exchanged numbers, and it looked like the start of a heartfelt friendship.