Florida woman's wrong number call to Jimmy John’s saves military veteran

Posted at 3:55 AM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 00:35:47-04

COLUMBUS, NE (KETV/CNN) - When a Nebraska military veteran needed to go to the hospital and couldn’t find a ride, his sister tried to call a social worker for help but ended up reaching Jimmy John’s, whose employees rushed to the rescue.

The wrong number call wasn’t like anything Jason Voss, a Jimmy John’s manager in Columbus, NE, had ever taken before.

“She just started going off about how she was in Florida, and she needed help,” Voss said.

The manager listened Saturday evening as Lisa Nagengast explained she had just returned to Tampa from visiting her brother in Columbus. Her brother, a military veteran, had recently had surgery and was having complications.

“He was like, ‘I’m in a lot of pain. I’m having the same issues that I was having this morning, and I can’t find a ride to the hospital,” Nagengast said.

Nagengast said her brother had just taken medication and couldn’t drive. He didn’t have enough money to call a cab, and since he was a veteran, he couldn’t call 911 without approval from the Veterans Administration.

So, Nagengast tried to call a social worker to get her brother help – but ended up talking to Jimmy John’s employees.

“I don’t even know if it was me who wrote the number down wrong of if I misdialed it when I was trying to dial him up,” she said.

Rather than say she had the wrong number and hang up, Voss did something amazing. While he couldn’t leave the store, he found someone who could and had them call her back.

“Somebody needs help, and I guess it was just convenient that I worked at somewhere where we have drivers,” he said.

The person Voss turned to for help was a fellow employee named Zach Hillmer.

“You could tell she was worried about her brother. You could tell she was upset,” Hillmer said.

Hillmer explained Nagengast had the wrong number, but when she apologized and went to hang up, he told her to wait then asked for her brother’s address.

Hillmer immediately hopped in his car, picked the man up and drove him nine miles to the hospital.

“You could hear the relief in her voice,” Hillmer said.

The Jimmy John’s employee felt even better when he found out he was helping a fellow veteran.

“‘til the day I die, if another service member needs help, then I’m gonna do it,” Hillmer said.

Nagengast said thanks to Voss and Hillmer, her brother is doing fine.

“It was amazing what they did, and I cannot even begin to thank them two enough,” she said.

Nagengast even suggested a new slogan for the sandwich shop: “Freaky fast, freaky good and freaky helpful.”

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