“He Was an Angel”

A NewYork-Presbyterian doctor rushes to help an MTA conductor who was slashed in the neck after a random attack in the subway.

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital pediatric emergency medicine physician Dr. Patrick McGrory was riding the subway home at 3:40 a.m. after his night shift when he heard a loud scream as the train pulled into a station. The conductor had leaned out of the window to check the platform — a routine part of the job — and at that moment, a stranger slashed him in the neck. The conductor announced over the loud speaker that he needed immediate medical attention.

Among the passengers who rushed to help him was Dr. McGrory, who was not just an emergency medicine physician, but also an Army veteran and a trauma research and prevention liaison at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. One of the programs he works with is Stop the Bleed, which was founded by the American College of Surgeons to train people on how to stop bleeding in a severely injured person.

Dr. McGrory saw that the conductor was bleeding badly. He used two face masks to pack the wound, covered it with a few more face masks, and then applied pressure to the wound while waiting about 20 minutes for paramedics to arrive. The conductor was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he needed 34 stitches but was able to go home.

At first, the conductor did not get Dr. McGrory’s name but told WCBS2, “He was an angel.”

Dr. McGrory admitted he felt emotional after the emergency and was relieved that he had been able to help save the conductor’s life. He says it underscored for him the importance of such programs as Stop the Bleed. NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital helps conduct Stop the Bleed trainings across the city at schools, public libraries and local events. To date, more than 1,000 people have learned the life-saving skill.

A few days after the incident, the conductor reunited with Dr. McGrory and thanked him. “I will remember you for the rest of my life,” he said. “God bless you. You’re a good man.”

“My message is gratitude for the conductor for his service and taking care of us every day,” said McGrory. “I call him my angel. We need to take care of each other, and that’s why I hope everyone will sign up for programs like Stop the Bleed.”

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