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Schoolboy Julian's lifesaving MythBuster moment


The Inspector!
Oct 20, 2004
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Mark O'Dwyer owes his life to a 14-year-old punk rocker and an edgy television science program.

The 54-year-old was waiting at Lisarow train station on the Central Coast at 2.45pm on October 19 when he fainted and toppled two metres from the platform onto the tracks below, as a freight train bore down on the station.
Julian Shaw, who is 180 centimetres tall and weighs 70 kilograms, was travelling home from school with classmates when he saw Mr O'Dwyer, who is 187 centimetres tall and weighs 110 kilograms, fall. Julian leapt into action.

"I jumped down on to the tracks, lifted him off the ground and put him on my shoulder - he was heavy but there was enough adrenaline rushing through to help me," said Julian, who is in year 9 at Lisarow High School and plays guitar in punk rock band Checkered Fist.
With the train "just a couple of metres away", Julian moved the North Gosford resident to the edge of the track and rolled him under the platform.
But danger was not totally averted.

"[As the train roared past] the noise pierced your ears and there was a suction that pulled us in," Julian said.
"I'd seen that on MythBusters, so I stayed right back and pulled Mark back towards me."

The train eventually passed safely, and the pair chatted until ambulance officers arrived.
"What an amazing young man," said Mr O'Dwyer, recovering at home with a back injury, three fractured ribs, a fractured shoulder, damaged knee and general bruising.

"What he did was amazing. He took it upon himself and saved my life.
"I was very emotional [afterwards], I gave him a hug and thanked him for saving my life."
Mr O'Dwyer said teenagers usually did not get much positive publicity, but it was important to "highlight when someone of this age group stands up and does what Julian's done".

"I had my girlfriend make him a medallion recognising his bravery, humanity, and what he did," he said.
The Department of Education has also sent Julian a formal letter of commendation.

Julian has already written a song about the incident for his band, featuring the chorus "I saved your soul".
He couldn't explain what spurred him to help Mr O'Dwyer - a stranger - despite the danger to himself.

"It was scary [but] I probably would have felt heaps bad if I didn't jump in," he said.
"Everyone at school knows about it - kids are buying me ice-blocks and hamburgers."
Julian's proud mother, Rachel, said the public reaction to Julian's brave deed had surprised her.

"A lot of people have called up saying 'I don't think I could've done what he did,' " she said.


Jamie's Stache saves yet another life.

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