ORLANDO, Fla. — It was a moment that reached millions through social media: when Ramon Santiago embraced Pam Brekke, a stranger he came upon at an Orlando Lowe's store.
She broke down in tears when she just missed the last generator at the store.
Her father has a medical condition and depends on oxygen.
Without hesitation, Santiago insisted she take his.
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“Moments after it happened, the story started circulating among employees, and it was humbling to watch,” said store employee Eric Hampton.
He said he and his fellow employees felt helpless since they were out of generators.
Then, when someone returned one Thursday night, the store's manager knew just what to do.
“I wanted to make sure (Santiago) received it,” said Melissa Rodriguez. “He's the hero of the day."
Friday, Santiago got his generator for free from Lowe's.
He took it home to ride out the storm with his family, including his 92-year-old grandmother.
In Spanish, he said God put him in the right place at the right time to help Brekke and send a message about the importance of helping others.
It’s a message employees said they hope resonates long after Irma is gone.
“It's what we need right now,” Rodriguez said. “We need more people like this to come forward and help each other.”
Cox Media Group