Man Stranded By Manchester Attack Praises The Stranger Who Helped Him Get Home

"I knew the power of social media was good. But I didn't realize just how amazing social media was."

The hate at the center of the May 22 terrorist attack in Manchester, England that took 22 lives and injured dozens of others is evident, but that force is nothing compared to the stories of compassion and heroism that have emerged in the days following the atrocity. 

We've told you about the homeless man who rushed to help injured children and the cabbies who drove towards the arena after the attack to aid stranded concertgoers, and now we'd like to tell you about a man named Jordan Stevenson.

According to Britain's Channel 4, Stevenson was getting ready to go to sleep when he got word of the attack, and he rightfully assumed the ensuing chaos would strand many people making their way back to nearby Liverpool. "I knew that the trains were out, so I just thought if anyone's going to do it I might as well post a tweet. Within three minutes I had 750 retweets and a load of requests from people who needed help," he told the outlet.

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One person who saw Stevenson's tweet was Liverpool resident Joe Foster. Foster had attended the concert with a friend and was making his way out of the arena when the bomb went off. In an essay posted on The Tab, Foster recalls the horrific events of that night. Recalling how he came across two crying teenage girls he writes, "Nothing I could have said to them would have put their little hearts to rest. So I opened my arms for hugs."

Desperate for a way home, Foster sent out his own tweet and soon came across Stevenson's earlier message. The pair eventually arranged for Stevenson to pick up Foster and his pal at a nearby hotel.

"I knew the power of social media was good. But I didn't realize just how amazing social media was," Foster writes. And for him, what set Stevenson apart that night was the complete selflessness he demonstrated in such a chaotic time. "He even apologized on the way home because he had to stop for petrol, which we tried to pay for but he refused. We offered him money on numerous occasions and he refused," Foster recalls.

Even after Stevenson drove Foster and his friend home safely, he remained in contact and continued to offer words of encouragement and support.

Stevenson told Channel 4 he spent five hours driving people from Manchester to Liverpool, not making it home until 5:30 in the morning of May 23. Still, he calls the paramedics the "true heroes" of the evening, adding, "I suppose it was just humbling to actually be able to do something."

Twitter

Though Foster agrees with that sentiment, he feels Stevenson's actions warrant praise too. "I am unsure as to how many people Jordan helped that night, but whether it was just me and my friend or if he helped 100 people; the guy deserves to be recognized as a beacon of brilliance in such a tragic time," he declares in the essay. "Whilst I agree with him, even this response is a testament to the genuine kindness he demonstrated and he should be incredibly proud of himself."

Foster also posted a similar sentiment on Twitter.

Stevenson told ABC News, "[The attack] was so surreal, you just don't even think it would happen in your area." In the wake of the devastation, however, he was proud of the region for pulling together. "This city is in one of the tightest-knitted countries on our planet," he said.

Stevenson also tweeted his appreciation for all of the "love" he'd received, and shared a quote from the late Princess Diana about the importance of being kind just for the sake of being kind.

Twitter

Foster agreed. "If there is anything good to come out of this bad, it's that people do care about one another. We may argue and bicker of futile matters, but in true moments of panic we come together regardless of religion, race, sexuality, gender or anything else of that matter," he wrote in his Tab essay. "May we wish for more people like Jordan in this world to give their evening to make someone else's life, and keep every victim and those affected by the tragedies in our prayers.

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