A Massachusetts woman battling cancer was looking for the "angel" she says saved her life on the side of a highway. But she found two of them.
Kate LaBelle of Leominster shared her story with NBC Boston Wednesday, explaining how an unidentified nurse saved her life.
She had been driving on Route 2 on May 27, 2016, when she began to lose consciousness on her way to a doctor's office to get a CT scan. She realized she needed to pull over.
She was taking the Devens exit when her head went down and her car hit the guardrail. The next thing she remembers is waking up to a nurse who comforted her until an ambulance arrived.
"It was terrifying just not knowing what was happening because I had no idea how sick I was," LaBelle said.
At the hospital, LaBelle was diagnosed with stage 4 angiosarcoma, a rare cancer of the blood vessels. It was causing her heart to fill up with fluid, putting so much pressure on it, doctors only had minutes to perform the emergency procedure that saved her.
"If it wasn't for that woman stopping, I probably wouldn't be here talking to you right now," LaBelle said.
LaBelle took to social media to try to find her Route 2 angel. After NBC Boston told her story, not one, but two, good Samaritans reached out — the nurse LaBelle remembers and a man who stopped to help, called 911 and took a picture at the scene.
Both "angels" sent well wishes.
"I honestly feel that I did what certainly any nurse would have done, and what most people in that situation would have done. I was helping someone who was in need," the nurse, who does not want to be identified, said in a written statement to NBC Boston. "Late last night, Katie and I were able to chat on the phone for the first time, and I learned of the tough road she has been on since that day in May. She has clearly been through a tough time this past year with her unexpected cancer diagnosis and treatment — but her beautiful spirit was so obvious to me while I was talking to her."
The nurse explained that she is looking forward to meeting LaBelle and her parents, and she asked people to help support her GoFundMe, closing by writing "#KatieStrong."
"I'd like to think anyone would stop, but I know that's not always the case." her father, David LaBelle, said Wednesday. "She went above and beyond."