MCKINNEY, Texas -- An 18-year-old's plea for help with finding the nurse who saved his life has been viewed more than 2 million times on Facebook. The video, created by Caleb Johnson and his siblings, begins by revealing the scar across Caleb's scalp, a reminder of the day that his parents died.
All five of the Johnson children were injured in a crash in McKinney on the morning before Thanksgiving 2000. Caleb, the youngest, was just 13 months old. "I heard they actually considered pronouncing me dead," he told CBS 11 News, from his family home in Utah.
Caleb's sister, Kirsten, was 12 years old at the time, old enough to remember what happened. Caleb, she said, was the first one pulled from the car. She was the second. They were placed into the same ambulance. "I knew. They didn't say anything to me, but I knew they didn't think he was going to make it," she said.
It was about a year later, the siblings said, that their grandmother received a phone call from a nurse, who explained what happened that day. "She tried to put an IV in me. Many times," Caleb recalled from the story that he has been told. In his video, he explains that his veins were collapsing, making it difficult for anyone to place an IV and treat him. "She looked up to Heaven, I've heard, and she said, 'Okay, God, this is the last chance,'" said Caleb.
She was able to insert medication directly into the bone marrow of his ankle, Caleb explained. "If she did this, I want to find her and I want to tell her thank you," he said.
Within hours of posting his video online, Caleb began getting clues.
Medical City McKinney, which went by the name North Central Medical Center then, responded by saying that it was looking for answers.
A flight paramedic who treated Caleb's siblings on the day of the crash posted, "I have never forgotten you."
Another nurse who was working that day wrote, "I thought of your family often over the years."
Finally, an employee was able to give them the name of Caleb's nurse. "We found out that the nurse… she actually passed away from cancer," explained Kirsten.
Their search for answers has not ended, though. Caleb and his siblings now want to fly back to Texas to meet with those who helped them that day, and with the family of nurse who made such an impact.
Caleb still struggles with a traumatic brain injury as a result of the crash. You can visit his Facebook page to watch his video and learn more about his advocacy for others with traumatic brain injuries.
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