FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Franklin woman is searching for the man who pulled her off the Natchez Trace Bridge several years ago, just seconds before she tried taking her own life.
“Prior to that day, I had been struggling for a really long time. I woke up that morning just feeling really, really defeated and I was very intent on ending my life that day,” Lauren Clements said.
In July 2018, the 24-year-old’s mental health left her feeling defeated to the point where she ordered a Lyft to the bridge where she was going to end it all.
“I climbed over the railing and stood on the ledge for about 20 seconds before a man appeared out of nowhere on a cycling bike, and he grabbed me; he put his arms around my chest and picked me up and we fell back onto the bridge. I truly believe I would have jumped if he didn’t appear when he did,” Clements said.
She had tried overdosing on aspirin before even getting to the bridge and was later admitted into the ICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where doctors didn’t expect her to survive.
Against all odds, Clements pulled through.
“Honestly, it’s an everyday battle. It’s something I’m going to live with for the rest of my life. Some days are better than others, but what has helped me the most is therapy and finding things in my life that bring purpose,” she said.
Clements said it took her years to truly feel thankful for what this stranger did for her and has now made it her mission to try and find him.
“I’ve come so far in my recovery and I’ve really gotten to a place I never thought I’d be, and I just want to talk to him and thank him because what he did was amazing. He saved my life,” she said.
At the time of her attempt, the Natchez Trace Bridge had a small railing that was very easy to climb.
As of September, there’s now a temporary barrier with a chain link fence and barbed wire on top to prevent more suicides.
“I’m very thankful, I’m very thankful. I know a lot of people did jump from the bridge and they didn’t have anyone to save them, and I don’t know why I did, and they didn’t, but I really want to use this second chance I’ve been given to make a difference,” Clements said.
She encourages anyone going through similar battles to reach out and ask for help.
“I am super, super passionate about sharing my story and raising awareness because unfortunately, mental health and suicide are still really stigmatized and so many people suffer in silence. I just really want people to know that they’re not alone and that things do get better. There is no shame in reaching out for help; it’s honestly the bravest thing that you can do,” Clements said.
Through the Tennessee statewide crisis hotline, you can call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) or Text “TN” to 741-741 for mental health support.
For more resources, visit Tennessee’s Crisis Services & Suicide Prevention links or the Tennessee-based Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 or dial 988.