Heroes can come in any size and shape. Modern superhero movies may make you think that only young men and women with unattainable physique can save the day, but Yves Ouilhon, a 79-year-old man living in Montreal's West Island, proves that anyone with enough spirit and conviction can be a hero.
Arriving in Quebec in 1964, Yves Ouilhon, formerly an officer in the French army, has long-since abandoned his military days, becoming a chef once he began living in Montreal. But while Mr. Ouilhon ended his military career decades ago, he never lost his inner drive to protect others, as this story will no-doubt prove.
On March 6th, Mr. Ouilhon was patiently awaiting the metro at Lionel-Groulx station, minding his own business, as he related to Le Journal de Montréal. That is, until, a disgruntled metro rider began violently yelling and acting aggressively towards other passengers on the platform.
Mr. Ouilhon acted immediately, using the nearby emergency STM phone to dial 911. By the time Mr. Ouilhon hung up the phone, though, the situation had devolved even further, with the perturbed man in question beginning to smash his head against the station's walls.
Not a moment later, Mr. Ouilhon noticed the man beginning to moving towards the metro tracks. A metro train could be heard approaching, and the man had his legs over the tracks, dangling into the chasm.
Recognizing a life in danger, Mr. Ouilhon instinctively acted, pulling the man away from the tracks and the incoming train. Mr. Ouilhon then sat the man on a nearby bench, and waited until emergency respondents arrived to handle the situation.
A Montreal firefighter arrived shortly after, and Mr. Ouilhon assumed the situation had calmed down. But once Mr. Ouilhon let go of the man-in-question, he immediately returned to a crazed state, attacking the incoming firefighter and Mr. Ouilhon.
Mr. Ouilhon lost two teeth, and the firefighter was also injured, but once more emergency respondents arrived, the man was calmed, his life no longer in danger.
For his heroic actions, and effectively saving this man's life, Mr. Ouilhon was awarded with a distinction from the STM, the first citizen to ever receive such an honour. Rightfully so, as Mr. Ouilhon truly acted without concern for his own safety and did what many of us probably wouldn't.
A true hero of Montreal, Mr. Ouilhon is someone we can all aspire to be like, showcasing that no matter your age, you can always help out a person in need.
And how does Mr. Ouilhon, a man of nearly 80, stay fit enough to hoist a full grown man from danger? As Mr. Ouilhon told JdeM, by playing bocce and table tennis. Looks like I've found my new fitness regiment.
You can also watch Mr. Ouilhon's personal account of the event here.