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James Bullard, shown here in the intensive care unit of the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester, is looking for his "angel," a Japanese woman in her 30s who ran to his aid after a motorcycle accident on Okinawa.

James Bullard, shown here in the intensive care unit of the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester, is looking for his "angel," a Japanese woman in her 30s who ran to his aid after a motorcycle accident on Okinawa. (David Allen / Stars and Stripes)

CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — James Bullard is looking for his “angel.”

Lying in his hospital bed in the intensive care unit of the U.S. Naval Hospital here, Bullard had just one request Wednesday as he waited for a medical evacuation flight to a hospital in San Diego for surgery on his pelvis, broken in a motorcycle accident last weekend.

“I’ve got to find her and thank her,” he said. “I know she saved my life.”

Bullard, known as “Bull” by his friends and colleagues at Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific headquarters on Torii Station, where he is the region’s safety and security chief, was riding his Honda CD-1300 motorcycle along Highway 329 near the Koza Corner intersection Saturday afternoon when a taxi made an illegal U-turn in front of him.

“There was no way I could stop,” Bullard said. His bike struck the rear of the cab and he was sent somersaulting over the trunk, slamming into the roadside. “I hit the ground hard, breaking my pelvis in two places.”

It was then he saw his angel.

“As I was floating in the air I saw a female running toward me,” he said. “As soon as I landed, she was there next to me holding my hand telling me not to worry, that I’d be all right.”

Bullard, 53, who has been a motorcyclist for 33 years and is a former Air Force motorcycle safety officer, knew that a person’s attitude in the first moments after a serious injury is crucial. A panicked person can suffer a heart attack.

“She calmed me,” he said. “She took my helmet and gloves off and kept holding my hand and telling me she’d stay with me — everything would be OK.”

He believes the petite Japanese woman, in her 30s with good English skills, prevented him from panicking.

“I don’t know who she is,” Bullard said. “But she is my angel. I mean it, she saved my life and I want to find her to say thank you.”

She stayed with him when he was transferred to a Japanese ambulance and moved from the roadway. But he lost track of her when he was transferred to a military ambulance. “All I know is her first name was Yuri,” he said. “The only thing I know about her is she had pretty toes. I never got to see her face.”

“She really put me at ease during an extremely difficult time,” Bullard said. “My wife was away on the mainland and I needed that calming, feminine voice at that moment. With her there holding my hand, I felt like I didn’t have to panic about anything.”

He asked that the woman contact him through the DODDS-Pacific public affairs office at DSN 644-5657.


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