Nurse Reunited With Woman She Saved

Joyce Johnson was nearing organ failure as she sat outside the New Orleans Convention Center after Hurricane Katrina. Johnson, a diabetic, knew she was in trouble after she lost her insulin.

"I don't want to die like this," she screamed as people around her tried to help. Most -- including ABC's David Muir -- thought her sugar was low and were searching for orange juice.

"I was in really bad shape. I don't remember a lot of it," said Johnson, a mother of three. "But after I got out of there, I spent a week and a half in the hospital. Half of it in the intensive care unit."

Nurse Cindy Davis was nearby and immediately took control of the situation. She searched the crowd for a glucose meter. When she found one and tested Johnson, 37, she found that Johnson's sugar had skyrocketed to nearly 600. She then gave Johnson an insulin shot, which stabilized her until medical professionals were able to take her to the hospital.

Johnson, who now works as a caregiver for Alzheimer's patients in Arlington, Texas, said she was sure she had once worked with Davis at the United Medical Rehabilitation Hospital. Johnson pointed Davis out to her husband who begged her for help.

"Somehow people knew I was a nurse," Davis said.

Davis was in the convention center because she was taking care of a patient. Her husband and children, including her 4-month-old daughter, had evacuated before the storm. She was supposed to be picked up with her female patient at a street corner near the convention center, but the vehicle never came and Davis was forced to seek shelter with her patient in the convention center.

"Someone came and got me and she was out, she was unconscious. I mean I was trying to help and it was hard because there wasn't anything. … So I … took her sugar and it was high, it was like 594, really high," Davis recalled.

When she saw Johnson, whom she did not recognize, Davis immediately knew that she was in very bad shape. After checking her glucose, Davis began shouting: "Please, does anyone have insulin?"

Quick Thinking

"I have nothing, no alcohol swabs, no real monitoring equipment, nothing," Davis said then.

"I drew up the insulin and gave her a shot," she recalled. "It wasn't normal circumstances, where, 'Hi, my name is Cindy, I'm a nurse, what can I do for you?' After I came down from the adrenaline rush, I started crying 'cause I didn't know what else to do."

Davis, who returned to her flood-ravaged home in Slidell, La., reunited with Johnson on "Good Morning America." "GMA" producers put Johnson's picture on New Orleans television in hopes of finding her. Her sister saw the broadcast and helped facilitate the reunion.

"Thank you so much," Johnson said. "I can't thank you enough. I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for you. What you did for me was so amazing. You put yourself on the back burner and I really appreciate it. It was extraordinary."

Davis said she had learned things about herself during that crisis that she had never before realized.

"I can be strong," Davis said. "We all can be strong. That situation was horrible, even worse than it looks on camera. But we all have strengths inside of us we didn't even know."

As a reward, "GMA" gave Davis tickets to fly to Los Angeles for the Oscars.

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