As we continue our look back through the news of 2012, we at Brookfield Patch feel it is important to highlight the good stories that reflect the best of the community.
There have been many feel-good stories to come out this year, however we’ve chosen our five favorites to share again with you, our readers. If there are any important ones you think we missed, feel free to leave them in the comments section below with a link to the article.
From Homeless to College Enrolled
Our first feel-good story of the year is one of redemption, forgiveness, hard work and faith in the good nature of others.
At 18, Damon Quiles, who had lived much of his life in Brookfield and the surrounding area, found himself without a home, without a job and without a future. Thanks to the help of some local individuals who saw potential in the young man, Quiles worked to put his life back together and was accepted at Central Connecticut State University for the fall semester 2012.
This summer, Quiles shared his story with Patch and vowed to live up to the support he has received.
New Brookfield Resident Born at Home
During the first hours of a Thursday morning this August, Brookfield’s emergency responders were called to a home on Old Bridge Road for reports of a woman in labor. Paramedics and police arrived at the home but it was too late to transport mother and child to the hospital, so they delivered the baby then and there.
"As long as there are no complications" home births generally go smoothly, Brookfield Volunteer Ambulance Captain Brian Gallagher said, reporting that the whole family was healthy and happy. "It's a process that's been going on naturally for thousands and thousands of years… The mother does all the work."
Two men attempting to burglarize a Candlewood Lake Road home in May were interrupted by an attentive neighbor who noticed something out of sorts and contacted the police. One of the suspects was captured shortly after near the scene while the second fled in the getaway vehicle, though he was arrested and charged less than a month later.
“If you see something, say something,” Brookfield police Maj. Jay Purcell said at the time, commending the neighbor for being attentive and contacting the police but warning against intervening personally. “Be a good witness, don’t try to be the police.”
Student Rescues Choking Friend
Another attentive Brookfielder, 12-year-old Marty Propper, was paying attention in health class when teacher Joanne Thompson was going over the Heimlich Maneuver. This proved to be lifesaving just a few months later when Propper’s longtime friend, fellow sixth grader Varisht Nellicherry, began choking during lunch one afternoon in May.
The two young men came out of the death-defying experience unharmed, however they were left with a new perspective: “Don’t take life for granted” — and pay attention in class.
Local Responders Fight in ‘Dark Knight’
As The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, opened in theaters this summer, four local first responders, including a Brookfield police officer and a firefighter were able to watch themselves on the big screen. Brookfield officer Devin Quintard and firefighter Joseph Kyek, along with Danbury firefighters Eric Handau and Tyler Bergmann, joined the cast for an epic fight scene on the streets of Manhattan and afterward shared their experience with Patch.