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Lisa Donath was running late. Heading down the sidewalk towards her subway stop, she decided to skip her usual espresso. Donath had a lot to do at work, plus visitors on the way. But as she hustled down the stairs and through the long tunnel, she started to feel uncomfortably warm. By the time she got to the platform, Donath felt faint. Maybe it hadn’t been a good idea to give blood the night before, she thought. She leaned heavily against a post close to the tracks.
Several yards away, Ismael Feneque and his girlfriend, Melina Gonzalez, found a spot close to where the front of the train would stop. Feneque and Gonzalez were deep in discussion about a house they were thinking of buying. But when he heard the scream, followed by someone yelling, ‘Oh, my God, she fell in!*, Feneque didn’t hesitate. He jumped down to the tracks and ran some 40 feet towards the body sprawled facedown on the rails.
‘No! Not you!’ his girlfriend screamed after him. She was right to be alarmed. By the time Feneque reached Donath, he could ‘feel the vibration on the tracks and see the light coming into the tunnel,’ he remembers. ‘The train was maybe 20 seconds from the station.’ In that instant, Feneque gave himself a mission, ‘I’m going to get her out, and then I’m going to get myself out, as soon as possible. I’m not going to let myself get killed here.’
Feneque, a former high school wrestler who trains at a gym to stay in shape, grabbed Donath under her armpits. She was deadweight. But he managed to raise her the four feet to the platform so that bystanders could grab her arms and drag her away from the edge. That’s where Donath briefly regained consciousness, felt herself being pulled along the ground, and saw someone else holding her purse. ‘I thought I’d been mugged,’ she says. She remembers the woman who held her hand and a man who gave his shirt to help stop the blood pouring from her head. The impact of her fall had been absorbed by her face — she’d lost teeth and suffered a broken eye socket, a broken jaw, and cuts all over her head.
But as the train closed in, Feneque wasn’t finished. He still had to grab and hoist up a man and a teenager who’d hopped down to the tracks and then use all the strength he had left to lift himself onto the platform. He did so just seconds before the train barrelled past him and came to a stop. Police and fire officials soon arrived, and Feneque gave his name to an officer and told him the story. Gonzalez says her unassuming boyfriend was calm on their 40-minute train ride downtown — just as he had been seconds after the rescue, which, she says, made her think about her reaction at the time. ‘I saw the train coming and I was thinking he was going to die,* she explains.
Donath’s parents joined her at her hospital bedside by the next morning and stayed in town to see her through the series of surgeries she’d need to reconstruct her face. Donath was determined to find the man who had saved her life — the man the police had listed, incorrectly, as Feneque Ismael. ‘I was never really into going on TV or getting my picture put in the New York Times,’ says Donath. ‘But I did so to know that I tried everything I could to contact him.’
Feneque, for his part, couldn’t stop wondering what had happened to the woman on the tracks. lie went on his own hunt, posting a message on a newspaper website asking if anyone knew whether the woman who had fallen in the subway had survived. No one responded. Several weeks later, while surfing the Internet for any new clues… bingo! A television station had posted an update on its website, detailing Donath’s recovery and her search for her rescuer. Feneque e-mailed the address provided to say that he was that man.
When the two first met, Donath threw her arms around Feneque and wept. It was overwhelming, she says, to try to convey her feelings. When they met again several months later, it felt a lot easier. ‘I finally had the chance to hear his side of the story in detail,’ she says.
Feneque says there’s no point in wondering why he was on the platform — at a different time from when he usually rides and at a station a considerable distance from his apartment — at the moment Donath needed help. ‘Whether it was pure coincidence or sent from above, who’s to say? All I know is I was there and I’d do it again,’ he says.
ВОПРОС 1 Lisa Donath was about to faint when she got to the platform because
1) she had skipped her usual espresso.
2) she had given blood the night before.
3) she had worked a lot.
4) she felt uncomfortably warm.
ВОПРОС 2 When Feneque saw the light of the train coming into the tunnel, he
1) felt determined not to die.
2) wanted to leave Donath.
3) started panicking.
4) allowed himself to get killed.
ВОПРОС 3 When Donath briefly regained consciousness, she thought that
1) she had been beaten.
2) she had been kidnapped.
3) she had been saved.
4) she had been robbed.
ВОПРОС 4 On their train ride downtown, Gonzalez thought about her behaviour during the accident because
1) her boyfriend didn’t want to assume that she was right.
2) her boyfriend could have died during the accident.
3) her boyfriend hadn’t lost control of himself.
4) she was still frightened.
ВОПРОС 5 Donath could not find a man who had saved her life because the police
1) had misspelled his name.
2) had spelled incorrectly his surname.
3) had mixed up his name and surname.
4) hadn’t written down his name and surname.
ВОПРОС 6 Feneque could finally contact Donath because
1) he has posted a message on a newspaper website.
2) he had asked the television station to provide her e-mail address.
3) he found her home address while surfing the Internet.
4) he got her e-mail address from the television station website.
ВОПРОС 7 Feneque is sure that
1) Donath needs help.
2) nobody can explain why he happened to be on the platform.
3) his being on the platform was a pure coincidence.
4) he was sent to the platform by God.
ВОПРОС 1: – 2
ВОПРОС 2: – 1
ВОПРОС 3: – 4
ВОПРОС 4: – 3
ВОПРОС 5: – 3
ВОПРОС 6: – 4
ВОПРОС 7: – 2