A man who launched an emotional appeal to find the stranger who saved him from suicide has achieved his goal.
After millions of people lent their support, the Finding Mike campaign has finally found Mike – and it turns out he’s called Neil.
Jonny Benjamin, who has a schizoaffective disorder, hit the headlines earlier this month looking for the the kind-hearted man who persuaded him not to take his life by jumping off Waterloo Bridge into the River Thames six years ago.
The search, which was launched in collaboration with the charity Rethink Mental Illness, was named Find Mike because Jonny had forgotten the man’s name in his distressed state.
When Neil Laybourn’s fiancé alerted him to Jonny’s story, he knew immediately that he was the passer-by he was looking for.
In an emotional reunion on Tuesday, Jonny said he felt like he had "won the lottery."
"I’m totally elated," he said. "It means the world to me to finally have the opportunity to say thank you."
Neil revealed his joy at seeing how well Jonny was doing, adding he "had thought about him over the years and had always hoped he was OK.”
Speaking about the incident, the 31-year-old personal trainer said: “I didn’t feel it was that big a deal, I did what anyone would do. I wasn’t trying to fix his problems that day, I just listened.
"Hand on heart that Jonny is one of the nicest people I have ever met, it’s brilliant to see him smiling again.
“We’ll definitely stay in touch,” he added.
HELP: If you need advice on coping with suicidal thoughts, self harm or how to support loved ones, visit mind.org.uk or call our Infoline on 0300 123 3393. Alternatively you can visit the National Self Harm Network here.
For help on suicide prevention or for advice and support, visit the Samaritans website or call 08457 90 90 90.