Johnson created a Facebook video searching for the ER nurse who cared for him as an infant after a tragic car accident 17 years ago on November 22, 2000. The accident injured his four siblings and took the lives of both parents. The video went viral and has been viewed more than 52 million times, so far.
While the nurse he was searching for, Dennie Miller, died in 2003, he was able to connect with six other staff members instrumental in his and his siblings’ care. An emotional Skype reunion held in December inspired the family to a travel from Utah to McKinney for an in-person reunion. Caleb, his four siblings, and eight other family members traveled to McKinney.
“I felt like a call or a letter wasn’t good enough,” said Johnson, “We needed something more.”
Registered nurses Janna Sullivan, Michelle Hooks and Shelly Morris, as well as Wendi Gracy, now a surgical liaison, respiratory supervisor Thomas Augustine, and X-ray technician Michele Haning were all working that early morning.
“We always talked about that baby. We wondered how he was doing,” said Sullivan.
“I’ve worked here 25 years, and this reunion, seeing Caleb doing so well, has made it all worth it,” said Augustine.
As a gift of appreciation, Johnson handed each person a collection of family photos and thank you notes.
“Our lives were changed in a moment,” he said. “In the depth of our pain, you were there to care for us and to show us that life is valuable. Some of us you saved directly, but for the rest of us you saved someone important – a brother, a cousin, a nephew.”
Before parting, the team shared stories of Dennie and how special this reunion would have been for her.
“She would relish this,” said Gracy. “She has a good seat, for sure. She’s watching down on us.”