Jimmy John's employees in Columbus, Nebraska are earning the praises of a sister, and thousands on the internet, for helping her brother get to the hospital.
Lisa Nagengast spent last week taking care of her brother Greg after a spinal surgery at Nebraska Medicine, transporting him from Columbus to Omaha and back. On Saturday, after her brother was in the hands of visiting nurses, Nagengast returned home to Tampa, Florida. When she landed, she turned her phone on to find a voicemail from her brother that something was terribly wrong.
Nagengast tells NewsRadio 1110 KFAB that Greg was having complications from spinal surgery he had just underwent. "When I listened to it he said he was in a lot of pain, his left leg was numb, he couldn't hardly stand up. He wasn't able to walk and there was stuff coming out of his incision."
She says she immediately called her brother back and told him to call 9-1-1 for an ambulance. "He was like, 'I can't.' Because he's a VA vet, he needs to make sure he has VA approval and an authorization before he does anything medical." Nagengast says she then suggested her brother hail a cab, but he didn't have any money due to his limited disability income.
The next step was to get a hold of Greg's social worker, who would be able to get approval and get him to the hospital for the treatment he needed. "So I called who I thought was the social worker, but because I was on the airplane and disembarking and walking through the airport, I didn't really hear what they said when they answered the phone."
Nagengast says she explained to the person on the other line who she was and what was going on, all while thinking she was speaking with her brother's social worker. After asking what they could do to help her brother, the voice on the other end of the line said Lisa could speak with the manger. "I reiterate the whole story to him, Jason Voss, and he was like, 'Well we have drivers, give me 15 minutes and we'll call you back.'"
A few minutes later came a call from Zach Hillmer, who wanted to know how Nagengast had gotten their number and more information about her brother. She says she grew frustrated and told Hillmer she got the number from her brother, because after all, wasn't this his social worker's office? "Why do you need that," Nagengast would ask, "We already filled out all this paperwork. Did Pam (the social worker) not pass this information on to you?" Hillmer's response, "Well no ma'am, she didn't, because you called Jimmy John's"
Shocked, Nagengast asked...like the food place? "He was like, 'Yes ma'am.' I was like, 'Oh I am so sorry I have called the wrong phone number and I'm just gonna go now...'" The wrong number, and embarrassment aside, something amazing happened. Hillmer still wanted to help and get Greg to the hospital.
Nagengast says in her brother's most desperate time of need, it was a few helpful souls from a Jimmy John's that ended up being the knights in shining armor. In a now viral Facebook post, Lisa sang the praises of Voss and Hillmer. "There are not enough words for me to be able to express my gratitude, which was why I put it up on Facebook." Nagengast says in a time in our country that finds people so divided, there is hope and good people and those in the Cornhusker State live up to the "Nebraska Nice" reputation. "If I would have called that wrong number in Tampa, I would have been hung up on. I would have been told, 'Sorry, that's not our job.'"
Lisa says her brother has been release from the hospital and is back home recovering well. And she says, next time you're in Columbus, be sure to stop by and show some love to the guys who showed compassion in a stranger's time of need.
You can hear Lisa's full audio and read her post below.