It was the first time I had bumped into Garrett Gustafson since last Saturday when I saw him applying pressure to stem the flow of blood from Chris Poeung’s chest in the parking lot at Terminal and Main.

Garrett told me when I chatted with him last night, that he had said a prayer for Chris as he pressed on his wound, but not out loud. He had said the prayer for Chris after seeing “a woman saying a prayer over him”, out loud in Spanish. “Is that what that woman was doing?,” I asked. I had mentioned that woman on my blog; I had seen her kneeling by Chris’ head, one hand on each side of his head, “talking to him softly, continuously”. She had dark hair. I didn’t realize at the time that she was saying a prayer. I didn’t even realize that she was speaking Spanish as I didn’t listen too closely.

The thing that still haunts me about seeing Chris Poeung lying in that parking lot is whether we could have done more to help him survive. There were so many people around Chris – several of us being adults — but none of us, other than Garrett, seemed to know first aid. My friend Don, who knows Garrett, told me the other night that the first aid course Garrett had taken was probably the kind that last a day, minus lunch and smoke breaks.

That’s exactly what Garrett had taken. He told me last night that he had taken his first aid course at the Newton Advocacy Group Society. “It was an 8 hr. course, very extensive”, he said, “Class 3”. The Newton Advocacy Group helps homeless people get back on their feet, Garrett said. “And that’s me.”

For complete original story, see Downtown Eastside Enquirer

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