When you become an Ohio Mason you make a promise to always look out for your fellow Brother. This sentiment is at the core of what Freemasonry offers to its members. In early March of 2021 Brother Corey Jones was working at a local hospital when a man was rushed into the ER with debilitating chest pain. Brother Jones noticed the man was wearing a Masonic ring. In an act of selflessness he sat with the stranger, Brother Dave Johnson, and comforted him during his time of need. Read the full story and interview with Brother Corey Jones below.
I SEE YOU’RE A TRAVELING MAN…
In early March 2021, Brother David Johnson of Amesville #278 was driving to work when he felt some pain in his chest. It was bad enough that he called his wife who took him to the local hospital. After being put onto a gurney and stabilized, he was examined by the doctors who informed him that he was currently having a ‘widowmaker’ heart attack and that he was in incredible danger. His condition was such that he would need to be taken by helicopter to Columbus, to a hospital better suited to help him.
David didn’t have a history of heart disease, so this was an incredible shock to him and his wife. The doctors placed him on the gurney, assuring him that the helicopter would be landing in the next hour. His wife kissed him goodbye and then ran home to get clothes and materials to meet him at the hospital in Columbus.
As he lay there on the gurney; alone, scared, unsure of whether he would see his wife again or even be alive tomorrow, he heard a voice quietly say, “I see you’re a traveling man…”
He looked up at a young man in a paramedic’s uniform who explained that he was an officer at Portland Lodge #366. This Brother grabbed David’s hand, sat down next to him and said that he would stay with David until the helicopter arrived.
For the next 45 minutes, this Brother sat with David, holding his hand, talking to him and keeping him calm; explaining what to expect and what was happening. When the helicopter crew came for David, they told the Brother that he couldn’t come on the flight. David and the Brother said their goodbyes as the crew loaded him up for Columbus.
David said that when this Brother grabbed his hand and sat down, he finally ‘got’ Masonry. He understood that he was in the hands of a tried and trusted friend, in whose fidelity he might safely confide. He understood what we mean by Brotherly Love and Relief. He spoke of the indescribable relief he felt knowing that if something happened, he was not going to die alone.
David recovered and is on the path to getting healthier. He wished he had caught the name of the Brother who sat with him to tell him that he was such a relief in his time of need. Telling Amesville’s LEO, WB Brad Maxwell, his story, Brad went to work and, through a series of Brothers, identified Brother Corey Jones, Junior Deacon of Portland as the one who helped David that day.
On Thursday, April 15th, 2021, at Amesville’s Stated Meeting, David and Corey saw each other for the first time since that day. In the educational program that night, these two told their emotional story, expressed their gratitude to each other, and were finally able to meet and greet each other as Brothers.
Interview with Brother Corey Jones
Brother Corey Jones and Brother Dave Johnson retelling their inspiring story at Amesville Lodge.
Can you recall your first thoughts of joining Freemasonry?
I had my first thoughts about Freemasonry when I was in middle school. I was drawn to it, I was highly drawn to it. I wanted to know more. My heart told me that’s where I belong. I found out I had family involved and I felt even closer to it. I would say it all started right then and there that I knew I would become a Mason.
Tell us about what you do outside of Freemasonry.
Outside of my lodge I’m big in my community. I’m a Director of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations at the Decatur Fire Department. I hunt and fish but most of all I love being with my family and my four year old son, Hank.
What is your job and why did you pick this path?
My occupation is EMS. It’s my other calling. I’m an EMT for Gallia County EMS. I have always loved to help people and be there for them. I found out during my last two years of high school, at Buckeyes Hills Career Center, that nursing was the field for me.
What propelled you to approach Bro. David Johnson?
I was doing clinicals for my paramedic class and an Emergency Room Doctor stated they had a patient who was in “VFib,” known as ventricular fibrillation or a dangerous irregular heartbeat, and they were going to cardio convert him and suggested we go watch. A cardio convert restores the normal rhythm in the heart, it’s an intense procedure. I went in there and was waiting for the doctor with the other students when I noticed his ring. I said, “I see you’re a traveling man.” This scared man smiled at me and in his eyes I saw hope. He knew he wasn’t in the room alone. As we waited, I talked with Brother Johnson and when the doctor came into cardio convert him. I told my instructor I would sit with him for a while. I sat and talked with him and explained everything that was going to happen, never letting go of his hand. I held his hand tight. I told him I would sit there as long as it would take. I stayed with him until the flight crew arrived to take him to Columbus, so he could get a higher level of care. I helped load him up and squeezed his hand one last time before the plane left. That was the last time I had seen my Brother Dave Johnson until Brother Brad Maxwell connected us the following month.
How has this moment impacted your role as a Freemason?
In the back of my mind I was always wondering how he was doing. Did he make it? Was he still in the hospital? I went on the hunt looking for him, I tried social media to find him but had no luck until I received a Facebook message from a brother who I came to know well, Brad Maxwell. Brother Maxwell said he was looking for me after he had heard the story from Dave. When he did, he invited me up to Amesville to see my long lost brother.
Tell us about what it felt like to be able to meet Bro. Johnson again and tell your story together.
When I heard his voice my heart sang knowing he was out of the hospital and living another day at Lodge. It was very emotional for us to finally see each other. Words can’t describe the feeling of being in lodge with him. It wasn’t until we retold our story together that I understood my Masonic values and felt truly humbled to be living them.
What can your Brethren learn from your experience?
I hope brothers can learn the importance of always holding out their hand to help their fellow brethren. You never know what the next door holds for you or for them.
Do you or a Mason you know have an inspiring story worth sharing? Email OhioLodgeLife@Freemason.com for the chance to be featured on our blog.