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August 24, 2011

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Metro good samaritan 'sad' no Chinese helped

A FOREIGNER who helped a Metro passenger apparently having an epileptic fit said yesterday he felt "very sad" that Chinese passengers just stood and watched.

Gregony Carew, a 36-year-old South African, came to the aid of the man on a Metro Line 2 train last Thursday.

A photograph of the incident published online led to heated debate about the apparent indifference of the Chinese public.

But some web users claimed the supposed epileptic is a well-known conman who seeks the sympathy and money of onlookers.

Carew, who works as a teacher, knew nothing of the furore until he read about it in Shanghai Daily.

"I feel very sad that no one among the huge crowd came to help me, but all just stood there," said Carew.

"I don't know how they could just leave a man who appeared to be dying."

Carew felt the man's condition was genuine, but said that was irrelevant in any case.

"It shouldn't be a reason for not helping," he said.

Carew recalled that the man jumped from his seat, waving his arms, then collapsed and started foaming at the mouth.

The South African put his wallet into the man's mouth to prevent him from choking.

He showed the wallet, a deep bite mark clearly visible, as he told Shanghai Daily of the incident.

"I was waiting for a train at People's Square station when I saw the man banging against the protective glass doors," said Carew, "He was a tall, thin, cross-eyed man with dirty clothes and a vacant expression."

After getting on the train, Carew heard people scream and scatter, leaving a space where the man was apparently having an epileptic fit.

"I've never seen anyone act like that before. So much foam came out of his mouth that I feared he might swallow his tongue," said Carew.

Without any first aid training, he tried to recall movie scenes and put his wallet into the man's mouth.

Carew said the man gradually recovered and murmured thank you. He believes that it was then another passenger photographed the scene.

The senior English tutor never thought that his instinctive act to help would lead to so much debate.

"I'm almost certain he was not acting as his gaze, the banging on the doors and the foaming shows he was behaving consistently," said Carew.

"But even if he was a bagger using other people's sympathy to earn coins, so what? I won't regret my decision."


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