After bumping her head and fainting after a hike Monday in Utah, Minnie John swore she heard a familiar voice consoling her as she came to.
She couldn’t quite place it, but John knew she’d heard the voice before. It reminded her of the nights she’d come home from a long day at work to hear the television set to ABC.
As a doctor bandaged her nose, John asked the woman if they had met before. The woman, smiling, took her hair down and shook it out, hoping to give John a hint.
“Can you guess?” the woman told John, standing in front of her.
The good Samaritan, it turns out, was Julie Bowen, star of the hit sitcom “Modern Family.” John was awe-struck.
“‘Wow, you’re beautiful!’ I told her,” John said in an interview Saturday with NJ Advance Media.
After hiking through Arches National Park, with the goal of reaching the iconic Delicate Arch, John, of Oradell, had grown lightheaded, having underestimated how strenuous the trek would be, she said. As she grew dizzy, John, who was traveling with her husband and son, stopped along the trail and sat on a rock to gather herself, she said.
John said she wasn’t a regular hiker and had only brought a tumbler of water and was totally out of breath. But she didn’t want her family to miss the view of the 52-foot tall arch, so John told them to go ahead without her as she rested.
Before she knew it, John fainted and fell forward, injuring her face, she said.
“I bent forward into my knees and was holding my head,” she said. “That’s all I remember.”
John had sat off to the side of the trail in a place where other hikers would likely not see her, she said. By chance, Bowen, 51, and her sister Annie Luetkemeyer, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, had been hiking nearby.
They were also looking to reach the Delicate Arch, John said.
The two found John and tended to her, with Luetkemeyer bandaging John’s nose while Bowen assured John that she was okay and that help was on the way, she said. As John came back to consciousness, she realized that Bowen was someone familiar, although not someone she’d ever met, she said.
“I kept hearing Julie talking and directing other people, telling me I was going to be okay,” said John. “My eyes are focusing on Julie and I kept saying ‘Are you sure I don’t know you?’”
After parting ways with Bowen and Luetkemeyer, John went to a local hospital, where she was treated for a fractured nose and given five stitches, she said. As of Saturday, John was feeling fine and recovering.
John credits the serendipity of Bowen and Luetkemeyer finding her to God. She thanked the duo for helping, despite not knowing her or what had happened.
“At the time when you’re all alone and you have no-one, you just have God,” she said. “And God sent them. I wasn’t even lying there. They saw me fall and they immediately got to me and they took care of me. Just like the good Samaritan in the Bible.”
And John — as soon as she felt steady — couldn’t pass up an opportunity to ask for a picture with the sitcom star. Bowen looked happy to oblige.
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