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Ohio woman sees 18-month-old dangling from a gutter. Now she’s a hero for life

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An Ohio woman has earned the status of local hero because of the quick-thinking actions she took after she spotted an 18-year-old toddler literally dangling from the first-story roof of a house last Sunday.

“I just pulled my car up and stopped and jumped out and ran up there,” Sandusky resident Jill Harper said to local media afterward, describing the moment she saw the child dangling from the home as she drove past along Mills Street.

“I could only touch his foot, so I started banging on the house hoping that somebody would come outside and help me,” she added.

But then something unexpected happened. The unnamed child simply let go and came tumbling toward the ground like a meteorite. It was what Harper did at that exact moment that has permanently cemented her place as a Sandusky hero for life.

“I caught him in my arms when he let go,” she explained.


“We both kind of went down and I thought he was going to hit his head on the concrete steps,” she continued. “He came up and he kind of grabbed me and I just grabbed him and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I caught him.'”

You sure did!

The child was then reunited with his stunned guardian, who police said will not face any charges. The toddler apparently slipped past a stairway safety gate as his guardian used the bathroom and then accidentally fell out of a second floor bedroom window.


“Children, they will surprise you at any time. You turn your head for just a second thinking they’re going to be OK,” local police Sgt. Kevin Youskievicz said. “They will disappear quickly because they’re adventuresome, they want to find out and that’s exactly what I think happened here.”

He was right. Scenarios like this occur everyday across the world. One reader of the U.K. Daily Mail, “LisaN,” described a moment 19 years ago when she spotted her 3-year-old son hiding  behind a pair of curtains.

“Snuck closer quietly so I didn’t scare him and saw him on 2 1/2′ roof with his foot in the gutter, seconds from disaster. I grabbed him and yanked him back in with the speed only a parent about to watch their child die can achieve,” she wrote.

“I literally almost lost one of the greatest lives of my life that day, 19 years ago. Accidents happen even when you think you are vigilant.”

The Ohio toddler’s guardian should count herself as extremely lucky. Had Harper not intervened, the child may have wound up with injuries or worse.

Thank you, Miss Harper!

Vivek Saxena


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