Off-duty officer pays for stranger's needed medication

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At the corner of happy and healthy, Karen Susman was in distress.

"I was in tears and I didn't know what to do," said Susman

She was at her Walgreens pharmacy to pick up an antibiotic cream for a staph infection. But changes in her insurance had put the co-pay out of financial reach.

"It was like for me humiliating to say 'I don't have $72 in the bank to pay for this prescription,'" she said.

Susman fought for a cheaper generic, but there was none. She was distraught, thinking she would have to leave without the medication.

"I kept saying 'isn't there something over the counter I can get to help this infection' and they said 'no,'" she said.

She was ready to tell the pharmacist to keep the medication, when School Resource Officer Joe Richardson saw her need. He was there to pick up his own prescription.

"Her hand starts shaking and I felt bad for," said Richardson, "I said 'I can't let her leave out, obviously she needs this prescription.'"

The former Marine and high school track coach stepped up and insisted on paying for the medication, even though Susman refused.

"She's like 'no I can't let you do that,'" he said, " I said 'don't worry,' so I paid for it."

Since it happened, Susman has wanted to tell Richardson how much she really appreciates his act of kindness and met him at his job, Lee High School, to say thank you with a big hug.

Richardson said he will probably do it again, not for the attention, but simply because he believes in helping others.

"I'm not going to lie, I probably will do it again," said Richardson with a broad smile on his face.

His simple act of kindness has now turned into a new friendship that will last a long time. Susman, who is a chaplain and teaches values, did not expect to experience the things that she teaches.

"He did it for no reason and it was the most beautiful God-given thing that anybody has ever done for me," said Susman.


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