real life

A woman fell asleep on a train. She woke up 30 minutes later to find $175 in her lap.

Ella Johannessen, 23, recently graduated Leeds Beckett University in the UK and – like so many of us – spiralled into debt in her final year.

She had to give up her part-time job, she told the BBC, in order to concentrate on her uni course.

Her situation meant she was desperate to find out what had happened when £35 ($61 AU) that was sent to her recently via transfer hadn’t arrived.

All of this was on her mind as she boarded a train from Peterborough to Leeds (about an hour and a half ride) on Saturday afternoon. She she decided to call her mum.

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“I was rather stressed and upset over my financial situation,” Johannessen posted to Facebook on Sunday. “I spoke to her about how little money I had, how worried I was about my finances and I got upset.”

After hanging up the phone, Johannessen slid down in her seat to fall asleep. She napped for 30 minutes or so and woke to find a napkin on her lap. Underneath the napkin was £100 ($175 AU).

Someone on the train had overheard Johannessen’s conversation and decided to help out.

“Under the napkin was £100. I started to cry,” she posted to Facebook. Then, addressing the generous stranger directly, she wrote: “I cried because I was incredibly thankful for your kindness to someone you don’t even know.”

The act is made even more special, as Johannessen lost her father and two of her grandparents within the last 18 months.

“It shows me that there is kindness and good people in the world. I want to say thank you to the person who gave me this gift, I hope you will see this.”