HYATTSVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - A Hyattsville man tried to take his own life last month, but thanks to a calm and cool 9-1-1 dispatcher, a mother's prayer on Facebook, and the power of love and friendship, David Dawson is alive today.
Now Dawson wants to help others who are considering suicide to learn from what he's been through. This is a story you'll only see on 9News.
They take more than a million calls a year at the Prince George's County 911 Center. This is the story of how one call saved one life, and impacted the lives of several more.
Linda Dawson called 911 one November morning. Her son David had tried to kill himself. He had left a suicide note. "I just wanted her to get someone here right away, I knew that he needed somebody right away," Linda said.
The "her" is Prince George's County 911 Dispatcher and first-time mom-to-be Dayeenah Edwards.
Dawson says this was the toughest day of her life. "I took a deep breath and she started counting, and she had me counting with her and I continued the CPR the whole time," she said.
With Edwards' help, Dawson managed to get David's heart beating before EMS arrived. But, then she says, things took another bad turn. "We get to the hospital and he flatlined three more times," she said.
What followed was three more days of doctors with bad news.
"Pretty much I was told from then on that he wasn't going to make it and I didn't want to hear that and I didn't want to believe that,"Linda said.
With nothing to lose, Linda poured her heart out to friends and family on Facebook.
"I asked them if they could come up and visit him, talk to him, touch him, let him know that you're here and you care. and over 60 people came and saw him that day," she said.
David woke up just in time for Thanksgiving. Linda says it's a miracle. "I'm thankful, I'm thankful for everybody that helped. because I wasn't going to let go of him. I wasn't going to let go of him, this is my child,"she said.
David is now doing fine. The 24-year-old says he took pain medication to try and end it all after battling years of chronic testicular pain that countless procedures and operations couldn't fix. He says the outpouring of love and care from his mom, those 60-plus friends, family, doctors, EMS, even Edwards, showed him the value his life had.
"All my friends have told me after this, you're one of the best friends I've ever had, you've impacted so many people 's lives, and it puts things in perspective, " he said.
Dawson says he is so happy to have lived. "It makes me think I have a purpose to be here, and that purpose is to prevent other people from committing suicide," he said.
From the darkness into the light, it's a lesson not many learn, but one David says he'll never forget. 911 Dispatcher Dayeenah Edwards says she's so pleased she could be a part of the help he received. "I'm glad that he has a new outlook on life, and that he can take that experience and change the way he is every day," she said.
David says he would like to work with a suicide prevention organization to help save lives. He says if he saves even one, it would all be worth it.