Columbus woman thanks man for saving her life in viral Facebook post

An elderly woman’s social media post about a young man saving her from falling at a Columbus gas station has gone viral.

And both told the Ledger-Enquirer the fact that she is white and he is Black has added to the popularity of this feel-good story.

Barbara Kimbro, 88, normally uses a walker. But she left it in the car to get a receipt from the cashier for the gas she pumped at the Circle K station at 5919 Miller Road on Monday.

Kimbro lost her balance as she stepped onto the curb and started to fall backward.

“I knew I was a goner,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “When- OUT OF THE BLUE, A young man threw his arms around my body and caught me FROM FALLING!!!!

“I will NEVER-EVER FORGET THAT YOUNG MAN AS LONG AS i live!! I deeply think he SAVED MY LIFE, because I think I would have cracked My skull! JaQuan Sanks is my hero! I bought him a tank of gas! Small payment for saving my life!!”

Her post about the incident has generated more than 7,000 likes, hundreds of shares and scores of comments.

“Everybody feels like God had a hand in it,” said Kimbro, a resident of Covenant Woods retirement community.

Sanks, 27, is a 2013 graduate of Carver High School. He lives in Columbus and works at Packaging Corporation of America in Opelika. He was going to get his gas receipt from the Circle K station cashier when he encountered Kimbro.

“I just noticed this lady walking up the curb,” Sanks said. “When I saw she started to fall, I thought, ‘That’s not going to be OK.’ My body wouldn’t let her hit the ground. I was just 3 or 4 feet away. So, I guess I used my high school football skills. I didn’t look at it as saving her. I just did the right thing.”

The selfie Sanks took of him posing with Kimbro — smiling together, with her hand on his chest — especially touched people’s hearts, Sanks said.

“Just seeing a young Black guy, my demographic, and her being so comfortable with each other, based on that picture. It shows the gratefulness she has,” Sanks told the Ledger-Enquirer.

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Sanks said he was raised by a single mother, Monique Lattimor, who works at TSYS/Global Payments. He was 12-years-old when his father, Jarvis Sanks, was murdered in 2008. He is the nephew of former Carver and University of Georgia star running back Jasper Sanks.

“I guess he’s been taught right,” said Kimbro, who, before retiring in 1999, was a teacher for 36 years in the Muscogee County School District, including Bibb and Morningside elementary schools and Fort Middle School.

Kimbro and Sanks have talked about visiting schools to further spread their message of helping each other regardless of differences in age, gender and race.

“I’m still trying to take this all in,” Sanks said.

“I hate the attention, but I’m being put in a certain role now. I guess it was meant for me and Miss Barbara to put more into the world. We’re going to keep that relationship and bond and build off it. I know God put me with Miss Barbara for a reason.”

Credit: Ledger-Enquirer


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