Good News

Good Samaritan helps driver who had seizure, restores our faith in humanity

March 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM ET

Video: Kyle Severson of the Minneapolis Police Department responded to an emergency call and helped a man who was suffering from a seizure, getting him help and parking his car instead of impounding it. Severson put a note about where to find the car in the man’s pocket, and news of his good deed quickly spread. NBC’s John Yang reports.

It can be tricky to thank a bashful Good Samaritan for a kind act. But one Minneapolis couple is grateful that their mystery hero has reluctantly stepped forward.

Aaron Purmort, 34, and his wife Nora spent a whole week wondering about the identity of the person who came to Aaron’s aid on Feb. 28. Aaron has stage 4 brain cancer, and during his drive home that night, he had a seizure and blacked out behind the wheel.

He woke up in an ambulance without a single scratch on him. It seemed as if someone had been looking out for him — and, as it turns out, someone was.

Kyle Severson, a 16-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, had responded to a report of a man slumped over in a car. Severson was there when Aaron appeared to come to, and he asked Aaron what month it was.

Kyle Severson is an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department. Its motto is "to serve with compassion."
TODAY
Kyle Severson is an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department. Its motto is "to serve with compassion."

“He said December. I asked him what year it was, and he said 2003,” Severson told TODAY. “Then I asked him, ‘Do you want me to park your car for ya?’ and he told me he doesn’t drive, he takes the bus.”

The normal procedure in such a situation would be to impound the car. But Severson noticed Aaron’s scars from brain surgery, and he decided to do something different. He parked the vehicle in a safe spot, then put the keys and a short note about the car’s location inside Aaron’s jacket pocket.

“I figured he had enough on his plate already,” Severson said.

At the emergency room, Aaron’s wife Nora found the note: “Your car is parked in the tobacco shop parking lot at 18th Av NE and Stinson.” Touched by the thoughtful act, she turned to social media for help finding the doer of the good deed. She posted this message on her blog and on her Facebook page:

Nora’s post got more than 6,300 likes on Facebook and got shared nearly 4,000 times. And then, a week after the incident, Severson identified himself.

“It took two minutes of my time to make a good call great, and it wasn’t a lot of effort on my part,” he told TODAY. “If I thought it was a big deal, I would have spent a little more time on my penmanship. It would be a little neater!”

The act of kindness might not have been a big deal to Severson, but to Aaron, Nora and their 13-month-old son, Ralph, it meant everything.

“The nice little things in life really do go a long way,” Nora said.

Need a Coffey break? Connect with TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or read more of her stories at LauraTCoffey.com.

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