Apparently inspired by a viral story about a similar rescue in Australia, a group of them banded together to push the train away from the platform to help get her leg unstuck, then cared for her until help arrived.
Polanco says the woman started crying because she couldn't afford to pay for an ambulance call, and insisted she be left to go home and tend the wound on her own.
'Do you know how much an ambulance costs?' she wept, while explaining it would cost a few thousand dollars.
This stark epiphany brought to you by Maria Cramer, a reporter at the Boston Globe.
A woman getting off Boston's Orange Line last week fell and trapped her leg in the gap between the platform and the train until her fellow passengers were able to free her.
Meanwhile a group of at least 10 other people pushed on the train vehicle, edging it back just enough to get her leg out. "It's $3000", she wailed.
Police confirmed that while no bones had been broken, the deep laceration was so severe the unidentified woman would need surgery.
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Many people praised those trying to free her by pushing the train, but not all caught hold of her story until an editorial by The New York Times was published Monday, titled, "This Tweet Captures the State of Health Care in America Today".
Another bystander told CNN, "She made it a point to say 'you don't understand, I have bad insurance.'" The woman was eventually convinced to go with emergency medical technicians who arrived at the scene.
The woman has not been identified. "It's $3,000", the woman reportedly said.
More: This man's 2-mile ambulance ride cost $2,700.
"In the face of a grave injury, a series of calculations follow: The clear and urgent need for medical attention is weighed against the uncertain and potentially monumental expense of even basic services, like a bandage or a ride to the hospital, and that cost, in turn, weighed against all the known expenses of living that run through any given head on any given day", the editorial said.
But she said she couldn't afford the cost of emergency services.
But the journalist argued that given the severity of the woman's injuries, it would have been too risky to have carried her to an Uber without professional medical assistance on hand.