Heroes honored for saving woman's life - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Heroes honored for saving woman's life

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MADISON (WKOW) – Two people who saved a woman's life were honored Tuesday night by Madison's Common Council.

Council members gave Sadie Villegas and James Lofton standing ovations for stopping a woman from jumping off the Monona Terrace rooftop.

"It's exciting. I guess it wasn't anything I knew about, that other people received it. And to know it's mine and James' day. That's pretty amazing to have that," said Villegas.

On June 3, Villegas met with a woman at the Community Development Authority office where Villegas works. Villegas told 27 News the woman was distraught about having to move, and she decided to follow her out of the Madison Municipal Building and up to the Monona Terrace rooftop. The woman started for the ledge, and Villegas pulled her back.

Lofton, a homeless veteran, stepped in to help.

Villegas says not everyone on the rooftop at the time tried to help.

"A lot of people just kind of turned their heads and looked away. Other people looked and thought about maybe helping, but made the decision not to," Villegas said. "Maybe they thought we had it under control, which we kind of did but we definitely needed the help. I don't know. It's definitely something you never know what you're going to do when you're in that situation."

Both Villegas and Lofton say they've been in touch with the woman they saved.

"She thanked me. Most of the time I was there I was being hugged," said Lofton, who visited the woman in the hospital.

"She was grateful," Villegas said, of the woman's attitude toward the rescue. "She kept saying I'm so sorry I brought you into this. What can I do to make this up to you? How can I show you how appreciative I am? I just kept on telling her, ‘You need to get the help that you need, take care of yourself. And that's how you can show me how you appreciate what I did.'"

Villegas works for the Community Development Authority, which helps low-income people with housing needs, and is now helping Lofton find a permanent home.

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