John’s story, in his own words

Dear New Friends, 

I had been a very corporate Dad – had worked for IBM, Smith Kline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. I had an MBA Finance. On April 28, 29 and 30, 1999, I went through three days of absolute “hell”. I had spent 13 months looking for a job that would provide for my family, with no luck. I had not actually lost my job with Bristol-Myers Squibb but there was always talk of downsizing and I knew that our department was being dissolved. My boss had told me that I should start looking for a new job. The anxiety just got to me. 

After I jumped from a building, I lived in shame. My wife and I separated for five years, because our communication had totally broken down. Financially, maritally, and emotionally, our family was ship-wrecked. I moved to Philadelphia and my wife moved with the kids to Norristown. 

Things turned around, unexpectedly, after I opened the Inquirer and read about Jordan, a young man who had also jumped from a building  and survived his injuries.  All of the sudden, and it was sudden, I wanted to do something with my shame and embarrassment. Trish called the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and asked him to extend our gratitude to Jordan for telling his story because a miracle had occurred for our family. For years, Trish had wanted us to be the couple that went around speaking, telling folks about all of the classic signs of depression that we both had missed. I wanted to hide in the shadows about this terrible tragedy. But, something about Jordan speaking out gave me the courage to do the same. Trish drove to Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center to visit Jordan and thank him personally. Then, Mike Vitez wrote an follow-up article in the Inquirer telling of my desire to help other families by sharing about what happened to me. 

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