Selfie guy defeats depression with motherload of goodwill

- Billy Poole has been where no one wants to go and he's been there twice.

A mid-life stroke nearly ended the life he wanted and depression pushed him to the very brink of canceling what was left.

"I felt like I was nothing after the stroke, like I was no use to anybody," said Poole.

Rock bottom. It's where far too many check out, but with two boys he just couldn't leave behind, Billy swung for the fence one last time and he did it with the help of Facebook.

The 42-year-old from Mont Belvieu began tracking down friends with whom he'd lost touch, capturing the love with a selfie and in the process, whittled steadily away at what ailed him.

"I came out with my depression and I get all kinds of people telling me how they were depressed, but they don't know how to talk about it," said Poole.

With each click of the camera the self-preserving crusade continued. Ten turning quickly to 100, then 500. New friends meshed with the old, fueled by a lifesaving message and posted for all to see.

"There is always someone you can talk to, I mean, you got to know that. They can message me on Facebook and I will talk to them, if all else fails. If they feel like they have nobody, I am there for them," said Poole.

And so, on a Sunday, just short of dusk, they began to trickle into Barbers Hill Stadium, summoned by the man whose become known on the net as the "Selfie Guy".

The hugs and the handshakes were a fitting prelude for a memorable milestone - Billy Poole's 1000th selfie to defeat depression" with an invite to participate for anybody willing .

"So I figure I would make everybody special. Every picture I've taken is special," said Poole.

Some were friends of 30 years who brought their best wishes.

"Especially for the heart that Billy has, just the best that life brings," said Brett Elliot who played football with Poole at Barbers Hill High.

Others came in tribute to a human spirit rekindled.

"Something that is the simplest thing comes along that can give you that spark. You never know what it's going to be," said supporter Jeremy Desel.

It was a spark that's salvaged one life, with the real potential of rescuing more.

"Anytime somebody is doing something to help themselves and it turns into something this big you want to be out there encouraging it," said one fan. "Yea for Billy! A selfie a day takes the pain away," added another.

As Billy's friends slid cheerfully into position, one watched with particular affection.

Yep, Billy's mission brought him eye to eye with Heather Daily and let’s just say they are now a great deal more than Facebook friends.

"Since he's an open book it makes you want to open up too," said Heather with a smile.

A blessing for Billy Poole. On this night it's one of 165, all smiling, all supportive, all ready to move Billy beyond four figures in his one man war against depression.

As Poole snaps number 1000 they yell "We love you Billy!" in a motherload of grace and goodwill for the "Selfie guy."

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