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In the middle of a gunman’s terrifying rampage, Ian stepped up to save the life of a man he’d never met. For the first time on daytime TV, Ian and his family tell the story of that terrible night.
On February 22 of this year, Ian Grillot was with friends at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas. His sister Maggie says, “He saw a couple of gentlemen being harassed by a gentleman who was drunk. He was just very rude all around, spewing racial slurs.” His targets were Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, two aviation engineers whom he accused of being Arab (they were actually citizens of India).
Ian asked the harasser to leave and then escorted him out of the restaurant – but about half an hour later, the man returned with a gun and opened fire in the restaurant. When Ian attempted to approach him, he was shot.
ER Physician Dr. Lee Norman explains that the bullet penetrated Ian’s hand, continued through his chest until it struck and collapsed a lung, and then lodged in his chest. “He was literally millimeters away from being dead or paralyzed.”
“I wasn’t really thinking when I did that,” says Ian. “It just – it wasn’t right. And I didn’t want the gentleman to potentially go after someone else. I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being.”
“You, as parents, raised a great young man,” ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork tells Ian’s parents, Jim and Debbie. Debbie responds, “The outpouring of support that we have received, that Ian has received! And he still keeps saying, ‘I’m not a hero. It’s what anyone should have done.’ But people don’t.”
Ian comes out and joins The Doctors. “We are so glad to have you here and celebrate what you did. I think you remind all of us that there are wonderful, great human beings in this world,” Dr. Stork tells him. Ian still has the bullet in his chest – he calls it his “souvenir” – and his voice has been affected by his ordeal.
“I got the best gift I ever could have asked for,” Ian tells The Doctors. While he was still hospitalized, Alok, the man whose life he saved, visited him to offer his thanks in person. “I was able to embrace him,” Ian says, “and that’s also when I found out his wife was five months pregnant.”
Alok now joins The Doctors via Skype. “My brother, what you did that night was brave and I really want to take this opportunity to thank you once again,” he tells Ian. Alok also tells Jim and Debbie what a wonderful son they’ve raised! “And I am going to take up your invite to go fishing,” he concludes. “Which I don’t know nothing about – but I’m going to learn it with you.”
Dr. Stork announces that Alok and his wife are going to get a little help with their impending baby – The Doctors have partnered with top baby-care brands to provide supplies for the little bundle of joy, and Huggies is contributing two years of diapers through their “No Baby Left Unhugged” effort. Their nursery will be furnished by evolur! The total value is $6,000.
“Ian, I’ve got to tell you, you are a hero. I don’t care what you say!” Dr. Stork continues. “I heard you’re a country music fan. George Strait?”
“I love me some George Strait!” says Ian.
“He heard about everything you’ve been through, and we have a little gift from him to you,” Dr. Stork tells him. He’s sent Ian a signed cowboy hat and an invitation to see his show Strait to Vegas, with hotel accommodations at the MGM Grand Hotel. “To top it all off, you’re going to meet George Strait backstage after the show!”
That’s not all. trivago, the hotel search website, is offering Ian $4,000 toward any vacation he and a guest would like to take once he’s feeling recovered. And Scheels All-Sports Store will give him a $5,000 gift card toward new fishing gear – “You and Alok better not come back empty-handed from that fishing trip!” Dr. Stork jokes.
Finally, Zoie Stein from Boat Angel Outreach is in the audience. “We like to make TV shows and films that are very inspirational,” she tells Ian. “We understand that you haven’t been able to get back to work since everything that’s happened. We would just like to gift you $10,000 to help you get back on your feet.”
“Today’s one of those days where, when you go to bed at night, just remember someone like Ian. You put your life on the line before someone else’s. You’re an amazing young man,” concludes Dr. Stork.