A while back, there was news about a deaf gentleman who saved a woman from a fire at apartment. Thanks to Kelly Reagan who managed to get a hold of him and made this interview possible. Darrel McCoulough is the guy who didn’t even think twice about saving another human being. It was a privilege of meeting and getting to know who he really is. Darrel is truly a kind and gentle man I’ve ever known, and I’m glad to call him a friend among Houstonians. Without further ado, here is the interview with Darrel McCoulough.
Thank you for participating our Q & A, please give us a brief description of your background.
I was born in the east of Louisiana. I then moved here in Houston when I was 2 years old. I grew up here in Houston. I went to Montessori school, and then I went to Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) in 1967. At the age of 16, I’ve decided to leave TSD and moved to California. While I was there, I worked for a print company for about 10 years where I used to be in union in CA. Later, the earthquake had occurred twice sometime during the1990s. It all happened somewhere between Oakland & SF. I then decided to move back to Houston in 1994 and settled here in Houston ever since. I truly love living here.
Were you born deaf or hearing? What was the cause?
I was born deaf, but never knew what the cause of it.
What do you currently do for living?
Currently, I am working for a newspaper company as a pressman for 13 years.
Any of your family deaf? How did your parents approach when they found out about your deafness?
My parents are hearing. Out of 8 siblings, I have 3 that are deaf. I’m the 4th child in the family. My parents communicated with us through gestures, home signs and writing. My mom passed away in California just before the earthquake occurred, and my dad is still alive. I have a daughter, and she’s hearing. We communicate through ASL.
Tell us your experience when you saved a woman from a fire.
This lady was from New Orleans. She knocked on my door and asked for some money. I didn’t know who she was, so I declined to give money and told her to go find a job. Later on, at 5:30 in the morning, something bothered me. I went to the bathroom and saw my truck parked where the fire was. I moved my truck, and my truck was fine. About 15 minutes later, I saw this lady, and she was on balcony on the 2nd floor. She was stuck, and there was no escape. I moved my car closer to where she was and tried to get her to jump over the balcony. Of course, it was very HOT. Then, the lady finally jumped on my car, and she was fine. She was grateful for my help.
What are your common challenges you face with hearing community?
I didn’t face much of challenges. I always work hard, and I don’t pay attention to negativity or any problems. I try to avoid problems and focus on the job at hands. That works best for me, no discriminations or oppressions. If there are any problems, I do my best to avoid them.
Any advice to deaf/hoh community?
If you see anybody that needs help, please help them. Your reward will be greater. Deaf CAN do anything. Also, just be sure to protect yourself. I didn’t have any fire alarms/lights at my old apt in Pasadena. After the incident I went through, I moved to Houston, and I now have alarms/lights for fire, etc.
Thank you, Darrel for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are certainly grateful to have you helping others. We definitely need more people like you to spread such positive attitude and support one another.