Woman In Recovery Gives Anonymous Surprise To First Responders

By Beth Leipholtz 08/01/18

"We were all a little fried after Thursday night, and so getting that thank you note, it was the nicest thing anyone could have ever done for us," said one EMT.

a pair of paramedics

Sometimes giving back is the best way to thank those around you—and that’s the route a woman in New Jersey took when she saw a group of six EMTs out for breakfast.

According to CNN, the EMTs wrapped up their meal only to find it had already been paid for. The person who paid had left a note reading, “Paid, thank you for all you do! Have a great day!" It was signed “Recovering Addict.”

Alyssa Golembeski, the captain of the Toms River First Aid Squad, said the waitress came to the table to inform them of the woman’s deed. 

"EMTs do not eat light," Golembeski told CNN. "We racked up a $77 bill.”

Golembeski then asked the waitress if the group could thank the woman, but the waitress said she wanted to keep her identity private.

"We were all a little fried after Thursday night, and so Friday morning, getting that thank you note, it was the nicest thing anyone could have ever done for us," Golembeski said.

The group shared a photo of the receipt on Facebook, in hopes that the woman may come forward. However, that has not happened yet. 

“To the woman who paid our tab today at IHOP, thank you so much for paying for our breakfast,” the EMTs wrote. “This gift was amazingly thoughtful, and brought our table of tired EMTs to tears. We are so blessed to be able to serve you and everyone else who lives and works in the greater Toms River area. Good luck on your journey of recovery!”

The post garnered more than 1,000 likes, 700 shares and 70 comments. 

“I still thank the police officer who found me behind a store leaning against a dumpster,” one Facebook user wrote. “This was in 2005, we weren't far from a hospital so he put me in his car and rushed me there himself. Him and his wife reached out to me afterwards and we remain close to this day. I know some people think we should just be allowed to die, but y'all work on us no matter what. I'm sober over 11 years now, I'm alive because someone in a uniform thought I was worth it. Thank you for what y'all do... Sincerely, thank you.”

Commenters also offered their support to the anonymous woman. 

“To the woman who is remaining anonymous, I hope you find the strength to keep going forward on your journey,” another Facebook user  wrote. “I will keep you in my prayers and hope that if you are reading this, that you know there are people who support you and hope to see you continue on you journey to recovery.” 

Golembeski tells CNN she and her coworkers have two messages they would like to pass on to the woman.

"First of all, thank you for buying our breakfast and for literally making my whole week," Golembeski said. "I couldn't stop smiling that entire day. Second of all, I just want to commend you for getting into recovery and for beating the disease that is addiction."

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.