In 1945, Sal Mauriello, a Brooklyn barber, was walking down the street when he heard a woman cry out that her son had fallen from the window of their fifth-floor apartment. Sal raced to the building and managed to catch the toddler, a little boy named Marvin Goldstein, before he hit the ground.

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Another close call, also involving a toddler, happened in 1987 in Florida, when Tom Copeland had wandered out of his house and into a pond. Brad Jachna, who was working a construction job nearby, saw Tom go into the water, jumped in after him and saved his life.

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Their heroic actions became larger than life stories for their loved ones, and moments that both Sal and Brad thought about for years. Decades later, these men were able to reunite with the boys – now men – who they saved.

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we’ll hear about two near-death experiences, and what it means to reunite with the people who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Top photo: Artwork by Eleanor Davis.
Second photo: A clipping from The New York Daily News of Marvin Goldstein and Sal Mauriello’s reunion in 1988.
Third photo: Brad Jachna and Tom Copeland at their StoryCorps interview in 2018 in Jupiter, FL. Photo by Jud Esty-Kendall.

Released on January 15, 2019.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
Vittoro by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Aeronaut
Flax by Fredrik from the album Trilogi
Filing Away by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Crab Shack
Step In, Step Out by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Crab Shack