Created: April 16, 2020 08:15 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- A 30-year nurse got to mix her love for helping people with travel after her family need an assisted travel companion for her father.
"My father has dementia and he was in Arizona and had had an accident and was hospitalized and we needed to get him back to Minnesota," said Kerri Johnson, Founder, and CEO of GOMO Travel.
The idea blossomed into a way to help seniors get over the fear of traveling because of age or health conditions, by offering a travel companion that could go with them and tend to their needs. GOMO also offers assistance with children and people suffering from anxiety, because no one should miss out on the chance to fulfill their desires to travel.
"It's really also a play on the millennial word FOMO, so for those people who don't know what FOMO is, it's an acronym of fear of missing out and I really didn't want seniors to ever fear missing out on anything," said Johnson.
The Minnesota native, now living in Jacksonville took a trip back to her home state after being recommended to a Florida resident by Mayo Clinic. The Florida man received a life-changing diagnosis and the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial, was the hope he'd been waiting for.
"The recommendation by all the physicians at the emergency rooms and subsequent rooms was that you can't take public transportation you're going to have to take ground transportation or a private plane," said the patient who wished to remain anonymous.
With the spread of COVID-19 and the risk of exposure, there were little to no options for him to get here in the timeframe required to enroll in the trial. Unable to drive himself, and too far from family members, GOMO stepped up.
"This lady from the Mayo Clinic concierge service said this lady is wired for this, you really ought to give her a call and it was like manna from heaven because I needed this," he said.
"When I was contacted by this gentleman, he had had a life-altering diagnosis and was completely determined to get to Mayo Clinic to be enrolled in a clinical trial," said Johnson.
For 22-hours the two drove straight from central Florida to Rochester, packing snacks and limiting their stops for safety.
"To be able to continue to help people and fulfill their desire and need to travel has been the most rewarding experience," she said.
Johnson said she has realized that her business and her passion to help people is truly her calling, she will remain in Rochester through the treatments, attending appointments and even communicates back and forth with the patient's family.
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