In a video that quickly went viral, 18-year-old Caleb Johnson asks viewers to help him find the nurse who helped save his life when he was seriously injured in a car crash when he was a baby.
In the video, Johnson holds up a series of written messages, sharing his story, and asking people to help him identify the nurse who wouldn’t give up on a dying 13-month-old baby.
Johnson said his family told him his heart had stopped and his veins collapsed. A nurse had trouble inserting an IV. As the story goes, she prayed over Johnson then was able to administer the medication through his ankle.
“I was just thinking, 'Hey, if this nurse was so great and actually saved my life, I want to reach out to her and say thank you,'” said Johnson.
The story was told to Johnson through his grandparents, who said the nurse contacted them 16 years ago. He said their family didn’t remember her name, but would like to properly thank her and the rest of the medical team.
“Right after it happened, it was so fresh we weren’t really in a state of mind to be able to express that kind of gratitude,” said Kirsten Moody, Johnson’s older sister.
Johnson’s parents didn’t survive the crash on Nov. 22, 2000. At the time, The Dallas Morning News reported a minivan driven by Johnson’s mother, Nancy, was hit by a tractor-trailer.
Police said Johnson likely didn’t see the semi which tried to avoid the family minivan. Johnson and her husband were killed. Their five children were injured.
The youngest, Caleb, suffered a traumatic brain injury. The children eventually moved to Utah where they were raised by an aunt and uncle.
Looking back, Johnson said he wanted to reconnect with the people at North Central Medical Center in McKinney. That was the hospital’s name in 2000. It’s now Medical City McKinney. A spokesperson said the hospital has seen the video and is working to help Johnson find the information he’s looking for.
In a statement on the hospital’s Facebook page, the hospital writes:
"So many of you have reached out to us to make sure we have heard about and watched this touching story.
We are committed to the care and improvement of human life -- and want to help in healing, whether it be mental or physical.
With his permission, we can tell you that we are in touch with Caleb Electric Brain -- and are working to find the answers he needs.
Johnson shared an update on his Facebook page late Tuesday night:
"Thank you so much for your help! We have been overwhelmed by the response. We are so grateful for all of the people who have shared. Thanks to you, we were able to connect with the right people and we got the name of the nurse. Sadly, we learned that she passed away years ago from cancer. Of course we were very devastated to hear this news. But we still very much want to get in contact with her family so we can thank them."
Johnson said he wishes to travel to Texas to connect with the family and possibly make a video with them.