How an Email Sent to the Wrong Person Saved a Life

'Life is brilliant'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2016 5:20 PM CDT
How an Email Sent to the Wrong Person Saved a Life

A New Jersey police chief didn't let a little thing like being thousands of miles away in a different country stop him from saving a life last week, BuzzFeed reports. On the evening of April 14, chief Mitchell Stern of the Verona Police Department saw an email from a Chinese student in the UK. According to Fox News, the emailer was concerned another Chinese student attending the Verona Academy of Fine Arts in Italy was going to commit suicide. Rather than just inform the student he had emailed the wrong Verona Police Department, Stern got to work. "I was not going to let someone who is sick or ill just go to the wayside,” Stern tells BuzzFeed. “I felt it was my responsibility.” The email had been sent 40 minutes before Stern saw it, so time was of the essence.

Unable to find a website for the Verona Police Department in Italy, Stern tried the Italian embassy in New York. It was closed. He finally got through to Interpol, which got in touch with the Italian state police. Less than two-and-a-half hours after the email was sent, Italian police were in the suicidal student's apartment. Her wrists were partially slit and a half-empty bottle of antidepressants was nearby. The student was rushed to the hospital, and a few days later, Stern got another email, CBS New York reports. “Though we don’t know each other before, you did really help me a lot," the email read. "The lucky thing is that I have a chance to write this letter to you and say thank you. No wonder I begin to enjoy everything around me. Life is brilliant.” (When an 87-year-old man passed out while mowing the lawn, this EMT went above and beyond.)

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