Over the years, Maj. John McDougall often thought about the Bosnian boy he found lying on the train tracks, covered in electrical burns.
Now, thanks to social media, McDougall has reconnected with the man whose life he saved more than 20 years ago.
This summer, the Edmonton military medic and his former patient, Asmir Ramic, shared a tearful reunion in a London hotel lobby.
“There was not a single word spoken,” McDougall, 51, said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. “We just walked up to each other and hugged, hugged and hugged for about five minutes.”
One day, a child banged on the door of the platoon house and told the group, through a translator, that there was an emergency.
Ramic, then 14, had been playing on top of a train when he came into contact with a live wire.
“He hit his head on the overhead wire and took 30,000 volts, so it threw him off the top of the train,” McDougall said. “But his foot got caught on the railing.”
McDougall thought the boy would not survive. It took him months to recover. He had first-, second- and third-degree burns on his shoulder, down his arm and across his face.
Ramic was his family’s only surviving child. His older brother, Admir, had been killed in the conflict.
Then about six years ago, McDougall got a friend request on Facebook. It was Ramic, looking to reconnect.
Now grown, he was working with the United Nations and had a wife and growing family. He had never forgotten the soldier who carried him to safety.
They began a regular correspondence and were finally able to meet again after Ramic, now 36, began working as a teacher in London, England, where a family vacation took McDougall in late June.
(Source: klix, CBC radio, photo: twitter)
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