08/06/2015 05:19 EDT | Updated 08/06/2016 05:59 EDT

BC Ferries Danica Marrs Touched By 'Guardian Angel' Title Given By Grateful Passenger

A BC Ferries call centre worker who went beyond her job duties to get a Langley, B.C. family to the bedside of a dying relative on Vancouver Island says she is touched by the outpouring of support she's received since being called a "Guardian Angel" on Facebook.

"It was definitely heartwarming to read the post and to be a part of it," says Danica Marrs, the employee who helped the family.

Marss works in the BC Ferries call centre in Victoria where staff are used to hearing from clients who lie about their circumstances in order to get a spot on one of the vessels.

But something about Glenda Johnston's voice told Marrs this was a real crisis.

"I could just hear it in her voice. It was one of those gut feelings," says Marrs, who answered a heart-sickening call August 1.

Johnston, on the other end of the line, told Marrs about her brother-in-law who had suffered a massive stroke and was slipping away faster than expected.

glenda johnston
Ferry traffic was lined up, with three sailing waits, time that the family did not have.

"I was in a panic," says Johnston. "I had to tell my 79-year-old mother-in-law her son was dying. He was on life support and we couldn't wait for another sailing. It was a really bad situation."

Johnston was desperate to get help from BC Ferries. She needed to get her family to Campbell River before it was too late to see her brother-in-law John.

"As soon as I started to speak to the agent, I started crying," recalls Johnston. "I explained the situation and how we really needed to get to Nanaimo."

Panic turns to relief

"Danica was just that very calm smoothing voice on the end of the phone that we needed to hear," says Johnston.

Somehow, despite a hundred callers on hold demanding passage on the busiest weekend of the year, Marrs got Johnstone and the dying man's family aboard the next ferry at the last minute.

The man's mother got to the hospital just in time to say goodbye to her son who died later that day at the age of 59.

"We took him off life support half an hour after we arrived in Campbell River." said Johnston.

"We were able to get my mother-in-law there and she was able to spend those last few hours with her son."

Johnston posted the experience on Facebook to thank her B.C. Ferries "guardian angel" but had not way of contacting her. She wanted it known that Marrs' compassion made it possible for loved ones to say a final goodbye.

Read Glenda Johnston's original FB post:

Dear BC FerriesOn Saturday August 1, 2015 we had a family emergency. Our brother in Campbell River was gravely ill, we...

Posted by Glenda Johnston on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Johnston's Facebook post thanking Marrs garnered more than 16,000 "likes" and has been shared over 3,000 times. Commentators have taken to sharing their own stories of guardian angels.


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