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My Unsung Hero: A man who met his hero after a motorcycle accident

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Time now for My Unsung Hero, a series from the team at Hidden Brain. My Unsung Hero tells the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else. Pierce Forde met his hero more than 30 years ago after being hit by a car while riding his motorcycle.

PIERCE FORDE: I remember flying through the air. I remember seeing the motorcycle on its front wheel, like it's doing a pirouette, and then crashing to the ground. And it was all very slo-mo. I just remember lying on the ground, and I knew I was badly hurt. I just knew it. So at this point, I was going into shock. And out of the twilight walks this tall African American man. And he just sat down beside me at my right shoulder. And he reached forward. He took my right hand. I took both his hands in mine. And I held on for dear life. And he just - the first word he said to me - he said, you'll be OK, brother. And he had a voice like Barry White, and it was the most soothing voice I've ever heard.

And I just remember thinking, this man is speaking the truth. I will be OK. He said, what's your name? I said, you know, Pierce. He says, you'll be OK. You'll be OK. And I remember I started kind of shaking, shuddering. And he started to repeat the questions. What's your name? What's your name? What day is today? What - where do you live? I remember him then kind of not raising his voice or - just speaking aloud, he said, look at me. He's like, look at me. Look at me in the eyes. Look at me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

FORDE: And it was just this kind of dance of him talking to me and not allowing me to focus on what was happening 'cause it was a nightmare, to be honest. And I just - you know, that man was an angel. I would be dead without his help.

KELLY: Pierce Forde lives in San Francisco. You can find more stories from My Unsung Hero wherever you get your podcasts. And to share your stories, record a voice memo on your phone, and email it to myunsunghero@hiddenbrain.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.