Early in the morning on July 31st in Lansing, Mich., a young teenager lie in the middle of the street bleeding profusely. The apparent victim of an armed robbery, the teen was shot multiple times, including in the head, and slowly began to die.
Enter into this grisly scene Michigan State nose tackle Micajah Reynolds, who would eventually save the young man’s life.
On Tuesday, Reynolds was back at MSU’s Media Day and recounted the events of that night for reporters and detailed his quick thinking and compassionate care-giving that no doubt saved a human life.
“Nobody else was around, and he was bleeding pretty badly,” Reynolds said, saying he was traveling home after visiting a friend. “I whipped my car around in the middle of the street and jumped out and ran over to him and helped him out. I put pressure on his wounds and stuff. He had been shot in the head. I’ve still got my shirt and all my clothes over at the house that are completely drenched in his blood and stuff. Thank God he made it.”
The young man would survive and Reynolds’ fast actions would qualify him as a hero. Had it not been for the selfless actions of the young MSU football player, another victim might have fallen to gun violence in one of the state’s top crime-ridden cities.
The ordeal was an incredibly intense one and Reynolds told reporters that it was his own fighting and competitive spirit that helped him motivate the young man to pull through.
“I’m holding him, cradling him and putting pressure and telling him, ‘Hey, everything is going to be OK, everything is going to be all right,'” Reynolds recounted. “He’s telling me, ‘I’m dead,’ and I said, ‘You’re not dead, you’re sitting here talking to me. You’re gonna be fine, just hang on, just keep fighting.’
“I felt like I was spotting someone on the bench and being like, ‘Man, you can do it. Just relax and keep going. You got it and all that.’ Thankfully, he made it. I haven’t really spoken to the family since I’ve been in camp and stuff. He was stable and everything the last time I checked.”
The experience would be enough to shake the foundations of any logical person, and Reynolds used the experience to reflect on just how precious life itself can be, and how quickly it can be robbed from us.
“I didn’t sleep for a couple days just because it made me consider that life is delicate. Life is so delicate,” the young athlete told reporters. “You don’t think about things like that happening until it’s happened. Just thinking, I was like what if my son would’ve been in that situation? Would somebody else have stopped?”
Reynolds certainly proved his worth off the field as a compassionate human being and has incorporated that passion into is playing on the field recently, as well. During the last few practices in the past week, Reynolds has been seen upping his game and bringing more focus to his position.
And while this is all well and good, the most important factor of this story cannot be overlooked: A young teen is alive today thanks to the heroic efforts of Micajah Reynolds… and for that, he should be commended.
“I’m truly blessed to be here and in this situation that I’m in right now playing college football at the highest level,” Reynolds said. “There’s so many people that I know who didn’t make it out of where they were. I think I owe it to everybody that helped me get here to do my best and go as hard as I can. This stuff isn’t something that I get back. Life isn’t something that you get back.”
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.