AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Karen Johansen remembers the night of August 28 as the night she almost lost her life.
She was feeling sick and was having issues with her pacemaker, so she decided to call 911.
“I went to the hospital by ambulance," she said. “I was very sick.”
After being examined, she had no way to get back home to Fritch.
“My only alternative was to start walking from Borger to Fritch,” said Johansen. “I made it about two miles or so when I was forced into the grass and fell and sat there and couldn’t figure out how to get back up.”
She had a low cell phone battery, and she once again decided to call 911.
“Within five minutes, Borger Fire, police and a deputy from the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office came to my rescue," she said.
Johansen is a retired deputy, has worked with FEMA, The Red Cross, and the list could go on and on.
That night, she handed the deputy on the scene her retired credentials from emergency management, and his response was simply “thank you for your service.”
His act of kindness did not stop there. He then offered to give her a ride home.
The officers helped her in the patrol care, and the deputy drove her home.
“At that point, for the first time in many hours, I finally felt safe,” said Johansen. “I just believe that he needs some recognition, and I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do."
When Johansen reached out to Newschannel10, she didn’t even know the deputy’s name.
However, it didn’t take long for us to discover who was responsible for helping her: Deputy Pedro Samuel Ponce with the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office.
We had Sheriff Kirk Coker call him into work early so we could honor him for going above and beyond.
"It means a lot,” said Deputy Ponce. “I think we were together for like 20 minutes at the most, and for it to leave a lasting impression like that, it means a lot to me. It tells me I did something right at least that day.”
He said he was just doing his job.
“I think community policing is remembering that we are all human at the end of the day,” said Ponce. “We wear this uniform, but at the end of the day, we’re the same person as anyone we come in contact with."
As for his message to Johansen:
“I just really want to express my gratitude to [her]," he said. "Thank you very much, it means a lot and see you in the future.”
“When the sheriff hired this young man, he made a wise choice,” said Johansen. “There aren’t that many words that you can actually use to convey a feeling of kindness... about all I can say is thank you because literally, like I said, I believe he saved my life.”
If you know someone who’s going above and beyond in your community, nominate them here.