In an emergency, the kindness of strangers often knows no bounds. With Hurricane Irma well on the way, Orlando resident, Pam Brekke was a recipient of such kindness on Thursday, while she desperately searched the area for a generator. Brekke’s 87-year-old father-in-law, Richard Robinson, is battling congestive heart failure and needs his nightly oxygen supply to survive. Should the electricity go down in the storm – which is likely – he would be at severe risk.

Orlando woman searched in vain for a generator

Brekke has been searching for several days for the much-needed generator, without success. She finally ended up at a Lowe’s store in Orlando but was moments too late.

Brekke told People she had heard on the news that Lowe’s still had 150 generators in stock, but that they were selling fast. She drove the 30 miles to the store, just as the last generator was sold.

Explaining her father’s critical condition, Brekke said she was really upset. She said she experienced the hurricanes of 2004 and knew what was coming. During each hurricane, they were without electricity for around seven days. Her father-in-law would not be able to survive that long without his oxygen supply.

Good Samaritan comes to the rescue

As she stepped away from the counter, clearly distraught, a fellow shopper, Ramon Santiago came up to her, offering the generator he had in his cart, which had been the last in the store’s stock.

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Brekke at first told him, no, you need that yourself and started to walk away, but Santiago insisted, saying it was hers and telling her to take the generator. Brekke, crying, emotionally hugged Santiago, telling him he was her “angel” while he kept assuring her everything was going to be OK.

While this was happening, Nancy Alvarez, a news anchor with WFTV in Orlando, was standing in line behind Brekke. She said she had just finished her shift doing the morning news and was queuing with a pile of batteries in preparation for the storm. She said everyone started crying as Santiago offered Brekke his generator. Alvarez posted smartphone coverage of the moving story to the WFTV website and to Facebook, which soon went viral.

Good Samaritan has kindness returned

After Santiago had been a Good Samaritan, giving Brekke her much-needed generator, other people from all over the country now wanted to help him. Alvarez said she received a call from Louisiana from a woman who said if she could meet her halfway, she would bring Santiago a generator.

However after Alvarez spoke with the managers at the Lowe’s store, they made a plan and she and Santiago later returned to the store where she presented him with his own generator - for free.

Alvarez said Santiago speaks little English, but she translated him as saying God had played a role in his generosity. He went on to tell everyone they are there for each other, helping out now. Santiago went on to say people should remember how they feel right now when the storm is over. Meanwhile after mass evacuations in the area considered the largest in U.S. history, Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida early on Sunday.