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Helmut Schmidt, Published November 29 2010

Walmart ‘hero’ restores faith of fire victim

The Galleria On 42nd fire left Susie Nyberg and her daughter without a home, worried about their belongings and feeling shaken.

A chance meeting with a young man named John in a Walmart checkout line buoyed her soul.

“I can’t begin to express the depth of appreciation I feel when I think of what he did for me,” Nyberg wrote to The Forum. “That young man touched my heart and soul, and I never will forget him.”

The Oct. 11 south Fargo fire left 150 tenants of the 62-unit building without homes.

Nyberg and her daughter had nothing but the clothes on their backs.

So she went into Walmart to get some basic items while her daughter stayed outside with their dog.

“I was visibly shaken with red, puffy eyes by the time I reached the checkout. All I could think about was the priceless family heirlooms, home movies and pictures that were in danger of being lost,” Nyberg wrote.

“As I proceeded to check out, a man approached me and gave me $48 he had left from his shopping and told the clerk to apply it to my purchases,” she wrote.

“He asked if my daughter and I had a place to stay that night. He was willing to open his home to strangers.

“He helped me out to my car and put the bags in my trunk. He gave me a big hug and asked if he could pray for my daughter, our dog and me.

“I can’t begin to express the depth of appreciation I feel when I think of what he did for me,” Nyberg wrote.

“John, if you are reading this, ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart,” she wrote. “You are truly my hero, and you restored my faith in humanity.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583