British Columbia

George Bowering meets 14-year-old girl who helped save his life

Vancouver Fire and Rescue honoured a 14-year-old Good Samaritan along with 13 others for their 'selfless' acts.

14 Good Samaritans honoured by Vancouver Fire and Rescue for their 'selfless' acts

George Bowering meets Good Samaritan 14-year-old Ivy Zhang

7 years ago
Duration 1:02
George Bowering, 79, meets the Good Samaritan who helped save him, 14-year-old Ivy Zhang.

When 79-year-old George Bowering fell and nearly stopped breathing, he didn't expect a young girl to be the one to help save his life.

On Monday, he had a chance to meet and thank her at a recognition event held by Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services at City Hall.

In April, 14-year-old Ivy Zhang was walking behind Bowering on her way to the library when "suddenly" she saw him fall. She ran up to see if he was okay and found him unresponsive.

The teen called 911 immediately. She stayed with Bowering and counted his shallow breaths until paramedics arrived.

"I just did what I was supposed to do, what anyone would have done," said Zhang.

To Zhang, Bowering was a stranger, but he is a well-known cultural figure in Canada.

Bowering was Canada's first poet laureate, appointed in 2002, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is also a historian, and is Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University.

Upon meeting Zhang, Bowering said he learned a lot more about his accident. He was grateful she was there and hopes they can build a friendship.

"If she was an orphan, I'd adopt her," laughed Bowering, "It's pretty good. She's going to teach me Mandarin."

Good Samaritans like Zhang along with 13 others were presented Monday with certificates of commendation by Vancouver Fire Chief John McKearney.

They were recognized in the presence of friends, families and city officials including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?