Woman’s Decision To Help This Stranger On The Street Changed Her Life Forever.
Story by Kristin Johnston
In early May every year there is a fun block party in the heart of Buckhead in Atlanta. You get a wristband and the street is blocked off and it’s really just a fun way to kick off the summer with friends. After a few hours with friends I decided to meet up with another group across the street and as I stepped outside I was greeted by a large scuffle -several people running in various directions, a cop running towards me – it was pure chaos.
I looked and saw a guy about my age sitting alone on the ground holding his head in his hands and went over to see if he was alright – a decision that changed my life forever!
The scuffle I soon learned, was because this guy was trying to stop a fight between his friend, Joe, and a very rude stranger. While telling Joe and the guy “lets not fight” the stranger sucker punched him directly in the eye and ran off!
“Are you ok? Let me see, move your hands” I said, and as he moved his hands I saw blood all over his face and hands and the wide gash above his eye where his face had met with the strangers fist. People immediately came running over with napkins, rags, and a chair for him to sit in, and the cop came over and said the ambulance was on its way. I looked around as I held the napkins to his face and realized that his friends were nowhere to be found.
“Hey, the ambulance will be here soon, do you want me to go with you? I don’t think your friends knew you got hurt.” I asked. “No, no its ok, I’ll be fine,” he answered. “Listen, I had the same injury in high school from a cheerleading accident – depending on how busy the ER is, you could be there well into the morning. I really don’t mind going with you so you’re not alone!” I told him as I recalled the 6 hours I spent in the ER myself for the same injury. “Well, if you don’t mind, that would be great,” he said.
“Ok then, first things first, what is your name?” “Cody Johnston with a T,” he answered. I laughed and said “Ok Cody Johnston with a T, when the ambulance gets here, I will go with you and say that we recently started seeing each other because thats not a complete lie – I did just see you here.” When the ambulance arrived and the medic began asking questions I was able to learn a little bit more about this guy – he had a birthday coming up, he was from Ohio, and he had a job as a structural engineer in Atlanta. The EMT suggested I ride up front with his partner, a bubbly woman who quickly realized I did not know the injured guy in the back of the truck.
“You don’t know this guy do you?” she asked. I felt totally “called out” and just started apologizing immediately. “No, I am so sorry, I just felt so badly because he was all alone and…” Her laughter cut me off and she said “Well at least he’s cute, maybe he’ll get your number!” Maybe she was on to something, all I could see from our initial meeting was blood, sweat, and I hadn’t gotten a look at him too much under all the napkins.
When we got to the hospital I started to kinda check him out – “ok he looks kinda tall laying there on that stretcher,” I thought, and as they wiped away the blood I could see his sparkling blue eyes and his deep dimples that would show up later as he smiled while we chatted waiting for the doctor.
While we were waiting his phone kept ringing, and I noticed someone named Robin was calling a couple times. He said she was a friend and asked me to answer and let her know what was going on since she had been out with their group of friends that night. “Hi, um my name is Kristin and everything is ok, but I am here at the ER with Cody, he’s getting some stitches here soon-” “OH MY GOSH I’M ON MY WAY!” I heard on the other end. About 10 minutes later, his friend Robin walks in, phone in hand, camera pointing at the bed, and laughing hard. “Is it ok if I take pics of this?”
I am so grateful that she came and had that funny idea because now we have pictures from the crazy night we met!
After Dr. Raj stitched him up and sent him on his way, I added the two of them on Facebook and said I hoped to see them soon. The next day I got a very sweet message from that handsome injured stranger thanking me for helping him and asking if he could take me to dinner as a way to thank me for being there that night – but preferably after his face healed some! We had our first date a few weeks later (pic below, so cozy already lol) and have been inseparable ever since!
This was in May 2012, we got engaged in March 2014 in New York City, married in Atlanta in 2015, and went on to have our first child, Sawyer, in 2016 at that same hospital. We welcomed our second child, Teddy, in 2018 at the same hospital as well!
It is so funny to think that a random chance meeting could be so serendipitous and change the course of two peoples lives! If I had walked out a minute earlier I would have missed the whole encounter, or had it been a minute later he may have met a different kind stranger. Had he declined my offer to go to the ER, he may have not remembered me at all from the incident.
I truly believe after being together for 7 years now that God had a plan for our lives and that we met each other at the right time, especially when talking later we realized we had several mutual friends already, and had been nearly meeting each other for over a year at various events we both attended!
You never know what lies ahead in your life, but if you listen to your heart, pray hard, and follow little clues and hints, you can be on the path that God has planned for you!