Neighbor gives up COVID-19 vaccine appointment to stranger in need

HALEY YAMADA and ERIC NOLL
·2 min read

As many struggle to get a vaccine appointment, two neighbors who met online found a way to help each other.

Grandmother Emily Johnson of Austin, Texas, was in need of open-heart surgery, but her doctor said she had to have one vaccination before the operation. After spending hours on the phone to set up a vaccination appointment, she reached out to her neighbors on the website Nextdoor.

PHOTO: People wait in a long line for Covid-19 vaccinations at Lincoln Park in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2021.  (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: People wait in a long line for Covid-19 vaccinations at Lincoln Park in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

“Hello Neighbors! I am a 68-yr-old female facing open heart surgery,” Johnson wrote on Jan. 7. “My doctors here in Austin have no access to the vaccine, so I have been spending up to an hour each morning, putting my name on lists and making dozens of phone calls. Has anyone out there heard anything or have a suggestion to make?”

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A stranger came to her aid. Christy Lewis said Johnson could have her appointment.

“You need this much more than I do. If you can make this appointment, it’s yours,” Lewis shared in a message to Johnson.

PHOTO: Grandmother Emily Johnson reached out to neighbors on Nextdoor for help with getting a vaccine.  (ABC)
PHOTO: Grandmother Emily Johnson reached out to neighbors on Nextdoor for help with getting a vaccine. (ABC)

“I was both stunned and obviously elated. I couldn’t believe that someone would be giving such a coveted thing to a complete stranger,” Johnson said.

On Jan. 8, Lewis, who has an autoimmune disease and is deemed a high-risk individual, and Johnson decided to go to the appointment together.

They said the supervisor listened to their story and vaccinated both of the women that day.

PHOTO: Neighbor Christy Lewis responded to Emily Johnson's pleas for help on Nextdoor.  (ABC)
PHOTO: Neighbor Christy Lewis responded to Emily Johnson's pleas for help on Nextdoor. (ABC)

Johnson told “World News Tonight” she is now ready for surgery. She said she was overcome by Lewis’ kindness.

“What I realized through all this is that even though we hear all kinds of sad stories happening in our country, there are truly wonderful people amongst us committing incredible acts of kindness,” Johnson said.

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Lewis said that she gave Johnson her appointment because it was the right thing to do.

“[Johnson] has a long road ahead of her,” Lewis said. “I was happy to help just a little bit,”

Neighbor gives up COVID-19 vaccine appointment to stranger in need originally appeared on abcnews.go.com