Veteran Needed a Ride to Hospital and Got It After a Jimmy John's Misdial

A Jimmy John's in Washington D.C. (Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Jimmy John's pulled an Uber.

It made a special delivery over the weekend for a woman who mistakenly misdialed the sandwich chain's outlet in Columbus, Nebraska looking for a ride to the hospital for her brother, a veteran who had just gone home after surgery.

Lisa Nagengast didn't realize her mistake until the male voice on the other end of the line said, "Umm, this is Jimmy Johns."

"You mean Jimmy John's like the food place?" she said.

Yup, that Jimmy John's.

The rest of the tale, which Nagengast shared on her Facebook page, has gone viral with more than a thousand people sharing it on the social media platform.

Nagengast, who lives in Florida, wrote that she flew to Nebraska last week to be with her brother while he had spinal fusion surgery.

"It was a risky surgery because he also has congestive heart failure. He had the surgery at Nebraska Medical on Wednesday and 2 days later was discharged on Friday," she explained.

"The entire surgery was taken care of under the VA and we had homecare workers set up to come to his house to help him with his recovery because my flight was leaving Saturday afternoon. I took him home, made sure he was settled in and then I left. I thought everything was working out great and he was doing really well."

But while she was flying back to Florida her brother called and left a voice mail message.

"He was in pain, there was a lot of blood and puss type fluid oozing from his incision," she wrote. "He said it was really bad and his left leg had gone numb. He was understandably upset and could not drive and was having issues getting a ride to the hospital."

She wrote that her brother, who lives on disability, couldn't afford a cab and thought he couldn't call 911 for an ambulance without prior authorization from the VA.

And, there's apparently no Uber in Columbus, a town of about 23,000 people west of Omaha.

So Nagengast called her brother's social worker.

At least she thought she was talking to Pam.

But she misdialed.

Lupe Rodriguez, according to the Omaha World-Herald, answered the phone -- at Jimmy John's.

Rodriguez passed the call to her manager, Jason Voss, after Nagengast went through the spiel about her brother needing a ride to the hospital.

"She was a little panicky," Voss told the newspaper "At that point, I figured I should take a minute to think about it -- it was obviously not someone making something up. It was an actual situation going on."

Someone needed help, Voss told KETV in Omaha, "and I guess it was convenient that I work at some place that had drivers."

Because he couldn't leave the restaurant, Voss called driver Zach Hillmer to talk over the situation, Voss told the newspaper.

Hillmer, who is also a veteran, called Nagengast back.

He asked her, "how did you get this number?" Nagengast wrote on Facebook.

""My brother gave it to me," she told him.

"He said 'Oh, okay. I will go get your brother but I need some information,'" she explained on Facebook. "At this point I was confused because this was a social worker, they should already have his information. I asked him if Pam had failed to give him the file or whatever had his information and he said "Umm, this is Jimmy Johns.'"

"Yeah, I had called Jimmy John's restaurant.

"Most places would have probably said something like 'Gee I'm really sorry about your brother, but we can't help you.' But Zack, the delivery driver at Jimmy John's picked up my brother and took him to the emergency room to get the medical attention he needed."

Hillmer told KETV that when he got to Nagengast's brother "his leg was going numb. It just wasn't a good situation." He drove him nine miles to the hospital, the TV station reported.

The gesture comes just a few days after a teenage pizza shop employee in Michigan drove through the middle of the night to deliver a pizza to a hospice patient in Indianapolis, Indiana. Julie Morgan called that an "epic pizza delivery."

"Till the day I die, if another service member needs help, I'm going to do it," Hillmer told KETV.

Nagengast wrote on Facebook that her brother -- identified by the World-Herald as 48-year-old Greg Holeman -- is doing well at home.

And, she told KETV, she's come up with a new slogan for the sandwich chain, which bills itself as "freaky fast": "Freaky fast, freaky good and freaky helpful."

This article is written by Lisa Gutierrez from The Kansas City Star and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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