We wanted to share with you the truly touching tale of a woman with Epilepsy who had an episode on a train she takes every morning and was helped out by a good samaritan, a samaritan who saved Ellie from a much grimmer fate. 27-year-old Ellie was on her commute to a fitness class when she had a seizure on the train. A man named Tom found her and did everything he could to make sure she was safe and looked after. He left her this note in her hand so that when she woke up, she would understand what had happened to her:
“Hi, Eleanor. I hope by the time you read this you are feeling better. You had a seizure on the train and I took you off. You didn’t hit your head, but I may have hurt your leg as I walked on it before realizing you were on the floor having a fit! Sorry!” The letter goes on to say. I’m also sorry I can’t stay with you now, but here is a coffee to perk you up later and £10 to make sure you get a taxi home. Sorry, I don’t have any more money, so I hope you don’t live far away. I’ve contacted people from your phone and medical help is on its way and you’re with train staff. Wishing you all the best and a quick recovery. Love Tom.”
What Tom did was nothing short of incredible. Ellie could have been seriously hurt or taken advantage of, but thanks to what he did for her, her life would never be the same.
Back in 2015, Ellie Farnfield went through a terrifying ordeal that was saved by a kind stranger. Ellie was traveling from Redhill, Surrey to Victoria station in Westminster when during the train ride she had a seizure. Ellie had no recollection of what had happened. On moment she is on her way on the train, the next minute she woke up on a train station bench with no clue as to how she got there.
A strangers help
As soon as Ellie woke up, she tried to remember what had happened but for the life of her she could not. She looked around and found a ripped piece of paper by her side that had her name on it. Ellie, whose full name is Eleanor, had a stranger help her in her time of need. He left her a note explaining what had happened.
The letter | Part 1
“Hi, Eleanor. I hope by the time you read this you are feeling better. You had a seizure on the train and I took you off. You didn’t hit your head, but I may have hurt your leg as I walked on it before realizing you were on the floor having a fit! Sorry!” The letter goes on to say…
The letter | Part 2
“I’m also sorry I can’t stay with you now, but here is a coffee to perk you up later and £10 to make sure you get a taxi home. Sorry, I don’t have any more money, so I hope you don’t live far away. I’ve contacted people from your phone and medical help is on its way and you’re with train staff. Wishing you all the best and a quick recovery. Love Tom.”
Looking for Tom
As soon as she read the letter she realized how lucky she was. she looked around the station to see if Tom was anywhere in sight, but he was not. Ellie’s story could have ended a totally different way if Tom hadn’t stepped in to help her. It’s people like him that renew faith in humanity and give us hope for the good in people.
What Ellie suffers from is Epilepsy. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, “Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Many people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure and may have other symptoms of neurological problems as well.” This is exactly what Ellie experienced on the train. An seizure like she had could last anywhere from a minute to several.
Once Ellie got home, she made it her mission to find Tom and thank him. She knew that he saved her. She was vocal on Facebook as to her gratitude, writing: “Faith restored in humanity in London last night. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me last night— especially Tom. Would love to try and find this man so I can return his money and add many, many thanks to it!!”
When interviewed by the Daily Mail, Ellie said, “Anything could have happened. I could have hit my head, fallen off the train, been there for a long time […] If I meet him, drinks are on me.” Ellie’s post on Facebook took on a life of its own and went viral. The post went from Facebook to Twitter, where the reach is by the millions. Perhaps through the power of social media, Ellie could find and properly thank her savior.
Viral Facebook post
Her Facebook post reads: “Thank you so much all for spreading the word on my search from the elusive Tom. Feeling a little overwhelmed (but grateful!) at how viral it’s gone. I’m going to lay low and wait to see what happens over the next couple of days – I’ll have an update after the weekend! Many thanks and fingers crossed we find him xxx.”
Viral Twitter hashtag
It was after her post on Facebook that the Twitter hashtag #FindTrainTom went just as viral on Twitter. The hashtag got comments by people, who wrote: “#FindtrainTom such a nice story. Tom seems like a good guy. Maybe he didn’t need a thank you, just did it out of kindness.” Another comment was, “#findtraintom I don’t think Tom wanted to be found.His name may not even be Tom.” There is something to that.
Who is Ellie?
While we are fascinated with the story of what happened to Ellie, we thought it would be interesting to know who Ellie is. Well, Ellie is a part-time fitness instructor who loved to travel and was at the time of the event 27 years old. Ellie is also a part-time acupuncture student. Clearly she is a health buff who has used her own health issues to make her a better health care professional.
About her initial reaction to the situation, Ellie said, “I was very confused. Then I saw the note and the money and felt quite emotional – it was such a thoughtful thing to do. Anything could have happened. I could have hit my head, fallen off the train, been there for a long time. I just want to thank Tom for his help. I’d tell him: “You’re a star and I really, really appreciate it”. I’d also like to return the money. There is something really lovely about the kindness of a stranger.”
In her in-depth interview with the Daily Mail, Ellie went on to say, “Everyone thinks Tom is great. There has been lots of speculation about who he might be, what he does, what he looks like, and friends “shotgunning” him as their future boyfriend.” Every single article written asks writes at the bottom something along the lines of: If you’ve seen or know who Tom is, contact ABC. It’s very touching.
A representative for Southern, the train operator for that section of the train line, said: “What this mystery man Tom did just goes to show how thoughtful and kind-hearted many of our passengers are. This would have been a frightening experience but thanks to our good Samaritan this young lady woke up in good hands with a taxi fare home.'”
Tom contacted a total of 14 people from Ellie’s phone while she was still unconscious. The people on the other end of the phone didn’t think to get more information on Tom as they were too worried about Ellie. Tom, the good samaritan, went above and beyond what is expected. Buying her coffee and leaving her money for a taxi was just the icing on the cherry of what Tom did for Ellie.
Who is Tom?
The million dollar question here is – who is Tom? Well, much like one of the Twitter followers of the hashtag wrote, Tom may not even be his real name and he may have just wanted to help with no further involvement in the matter. Ellie got her very own Superman that day, something that truly saved her. As to Tom’s identity, we may never know.
As soon as Ellie’s story hit the major news circuit in the UK, her story took on an even bigger life of its own. Many versions of her story were written and published, with the reach of the tale going global. The stories about what Ellie had gone through and about Tom were flooding social media platforms and people everywhere had a lot to say on the matter.
Anyone who read what had happened to Ellie was touched by Tom’s actions. One individual wrote, “Such a kind and humane thing to do. Would like to think I’d do the same in that situation but truth is would I realize the situation you were in or would I assume you were drunk or out of it on drugs? Sincerely hope you find ‘tom’ and he gets all the recognition he deserves. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Please update us if you find your hero xx.”
Another social media user wrote, “Well done Tom, when people see you having a seizure, most people just quickly hurry past. So you are a hero, and I hope next time I have a seizure, or partial seizure someone will help me. God Bless, from Cornwall.” There were even those who told her to marry Tom if she ever managed to find him!
Searching for Tom
There is a whole article dedicated to finding Tom. In Unwind digital magazine, they wrote “Ellie needs your help in finding the man that saved her. Can you help find Tom?” The whole of the digital world was trying to find Tom so that Ellie could get her closure and thank the man that saved her from a much worse fate.
Last year, The CheNews, a YouTube channel, wanted to cover Ellie’s story due to the fact that it restored faith in humanity (something the world is seriously lacking in these days). They talked a lot about how bummed they were to learn that the story is rather old (from 2015) which means that Ellie had yet to find the man who saved her on that fateful day.
The CheNews did their homework on the situation and created a 5 minute segment on what happened to Ellie. They caption the video with the following description: “Ellie Farnfield, 27-year-old part-time fitness instructor and student was traveling on the London subway when she fainted then awoke to about $13 bucks and a touching note from a stranger.”
There were many news channels that covered this story, especially in Ellie’s native UK, but when it went viral internationally, there were those who decided to get super creative and make a mashup couple minute video to tell the story in a new way – through the art of the make-your-own video tools that we all possess these days.
Not giving up
Ellie, and the world, is not giving up on finding Tom. While he may want to remain anonymous to the world, one day he may come forward so that Ellie could give him the proper thank you that she so desperately wants to give him. At the end of the day the best thing to do is pay it forward. Do something nice for someone else and see how that can continue through that person one day.
Paying it forward
For those with Epilepsy, running the risk of falling and hitting their head during a seizure is a real issue. While Ellie did fall on her own, it was Tom who made sure that she was placed in a safe place and looked after so as to minimize the damage that could have been done to her while she was unconscious.
There are endless amounts of publications that have covered this story. As soon as it went viral and news stations got wind of what had happened to Ellie, everyone wanted a piece of the story, so they wrote their own version of what had happened and tried to dig up anything they could from both Ellie and the public as to who tom is and where he could be.
Thank you Tom
Since we have yet to find out who Tom is, and probably never will. We are certain that he has heard of the story online since it is practically unavoidable. Tom, if that is even his real name, is sure to know how thankful Ellie is for him being on that train that day and for what he did for her. Either way, we want to jump on the thank you bandwagon and tell Tom – thanks for restoring our faith in humanity!