"I found this cutting many years ago. No doubt there are countless such stories throughout history. So much food for thought." (Malcolm du Plessis)
One stormy night in Lake Michigan, a side-wheeler steamboat was rammed by another boat. The steamboat sank just a mile offshore from the village of Winnetka, Illinois. Out of 393 passengers on board, 279 drowned.
A man named Edward Spencer, after seeing the situation unfold, jumped into the lake and swam to the drowning people. He towed one person to shore and went for another. In all, he brought seventeen people to safety. However, the strain on this young man caused him to collapse. The nerves in his legs were so completely destroyed that he could never walk again. He was an invalid wheel chair victim for his entire life.
On his eightieth birthday, someone asked him to relate his most vivid memory of that dreadful day. He replied, "Not one of the seventeen returned to thank me."