Good News NL: The Kindness of Strangers & Miracle on Ice

Bad things happen to good people, but when it comes to the kindness and generosity demonstrated from the kind hearts of Newfoundlanders, nothing is impossible

Sheila McCarthy’s heart was broken. As a grandmother, seeing her grandchildren happy is her number one priority, especially around their birthday. It crushed her when she learned that her grandson Keegan had his birthday gift stolen the night before his big day. The family had already paid for a brand new BMX bike, and with everything going on with the world, finances were uncertain.

Facebook miracle 

A friend suggested she post about the loss, and that maybe Facebook friends from home might pitch in.

“I’m throwing this out there, my grandson Keegan had his bike stolen this morning and my heart is breaking that we, at this time, can’t get him another bike,” she wrote. “It’s bad enough that we can’t be with him because of social distancing from this virus. And having to cancel his party too? I was hoping that his bike was going to be the highlight of his day and now this. So if you can help in any way, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you to all.”

Keegan’s big day

The money poured in. While the family currently live in Alberta, Keegan’s mom is from Terrenceville and his dad is from Bay Roberts. Before long, they had enough to purchase a new bike. “Thank you to everyone who help to make Keegan’s day special. We have got him a new bike and a helmet to boot. So thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” 

Happy belated, Keegan, from your friends at The Newfoundland Herald.


One family from Paradise is counting their blessings, no doubt forever grateful for one young lad’s swift and brave action

Pius Murphy of Paradise has every reason to be proud of his son.

 For one thing, 14 year-old, Ian, a passionate ice-fisher whenever the opportunity arises, just happened to be in the right place at the right time on Friday, March 20th. For another, the young man demonstrated great courage and compassion when he risked his own life to help another.

the open ice

Ian’s dad begins the tale.

“I was on Adam’s pond in Paradise ice fishing with my son. I drilled holes for him with the ice auger and told him, ‘don’t go away from these couple holes here,’ and I headed home to prepare supper and I left Ian there,” he beings. 

Murphy says he wasn’t worried. Ian, he stresses, is a good kid and an experienced ice fisherman. Plus, there were a few folks around, as that Friday was a sunny March day. 

“There was a bit of activity on the pond with skaters and people walking the trail,” he reflected. A while later, he received a call from someone asking if Ian was his son. Naturally, it gave him cause for concern – at first, anyway.

“He asked if Ian Murphy was my son and he gave me the news of Ian’s brave actions in his efforts to rescue his son from the cold water in Adam’s pond. It was not warm, it’s Friday evening. The little fellow ventured too far to the open ice where a stream runs into Adam’s pond and the ice gave away,” he shares.

Ian, who was ice fishing, called for another child’s hockey stick.

“He told the kid he borrowed the stick from to hold his legs while Ian laid down on the ice and extended his arm and stick so the little guy could reach. The little fellow grabbed the hockey stick and with maneuvering he managed to get back on the ice.” 

practice Ice safety!

The young boy was soaked to just below his chest.

“We are unsure how deep the water was but the little kid could not touch bottom. Once out of the water the little fellow was taken home and is now fine.”

Naturally, the family, who want to remain nameless so to not worry other family members during this already stressful time, came by to visit with words, and a card of thanks. 

“They brought a thank you card and a gift card for Ian so he could purchase more fishing supplies as it may be a long fishing season with school closed. That’s what Ian said, ‘more hooks and spinners.’’’

Dad and son had a heart-to-heart.

“I spoke with Ian about the ordeal and he said, me and pop had a good conversation last week about ice safety.” 

The timing was perfect. For the Murphy family, getting the message out to be safe is what sharing their story is all about. “We want to get the message out that with all that’s going on with Covid-19, we would hate to see tragedy any which way happen to families. Spring is coming and ice will soon start to soften. We want people to be safe in every way.”

a proud father

The thank you card in part read, ‘your actions will stay with me forever and words alone cannot express my gratitude towards your action in the rescue.’ Ian’s dad is rightfully very honoured.

“I was a proud father yesterday to hear the speech the gentleman gave my son. We are glad everyone is ok.” 

As for Ian? He’s still fishing. 

“Ian is gone trouting again today. ‘Keep track of how many twists it takes to get through 20 inches of ice with the auger, Ian’ I said, and how many trout you’re after catching compared to holes drilled and juice boxes and wagon wheels you’re after going through this past week on the pond, putting a real dent in the school snacks.” 

A huge Hero Herald thank you to Ian for his bravery.

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