When 22-year-old Nadia Popovici attended a hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Seattle Krakens, she expected to do little more than spectate and enjoy herself.
However, she ended up saving the life of the Cancucks’ equipment manager, Brain Hamilton.
According to CBC News, the Seattle resident, originally from Canada, was sitting right behind the Canucks’ bench and had a good view of the players – and Mr. Hamilton.
As Mr. Hamilton walked across the bench between periods, Popovici noticed an unusual mole on the back of his neck. After looking at it for a moment, she realized there was a good chance it was malignant melanoma.
She told the news outlet, “I spotted some of the classic signs, you know, irregular borders, a little bit of discoloration and a pretty large diameter. I thought, you know, it can’t hurt just to say something.”
Using her phone, Popovici typed up a note alerting Mr. Hamilton to the potential danger of the mole. She held up her phone to the plexiglass separating the crowd from the players and persistently knocked until she got his attention.
Mr. Hamilton nodded in acknowledgment but didn’t think too much of it. Later, he decided to have the mole checked out by the team doctor as a precaution and it turned out that Popovici was right. The mole was malignant melanoma, a possibly life-threatening cancer if left untreated.
According to CBC, Mr. Hamilton told a news conference, “She saved my life. She didn’t take me out of a burning car, like in the big stories, but she took me out of a slow fire.”
After realizing what the fan had done for him, the Canucks team posted a plea on Twitter for help identifying who the woman was.
#HockeyTwitter, we need your help!
Please RT to spread the word and help us connect Red with the woman he considers his hero. pic.twitter.com/HlZybgOnjf
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 1, 2022
It wasn’t long before she was found in a #LadiesoftheKracken Facebook group and was able to connect with the team!
They arranged a meeting and Popovici was gifted $10,000. It was an emotional reunion and Mr. Hamilton was beyond grateful for the young woman going out of her way to help him, a stranger, and save his life.
Watch their meeting in the video below:
The internet community helped us find Brian's hero, Nadia, and tonight they met in person where he got to express his sincerest thank you to her for saving his life.
A story of human compassion at its finest. pic.twitter.com/66ogo5hB1a
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 2, 2022