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BEHIND THE SCENES: Fainting at grocery store, woman grateful for couple’s assistance

SooToday's Alex Flood takes us behind the scenes

In each “Behind the Scenes” segment, Village Media's Scott Sexsmith sits down with one of our local journalists to talk about the story behind the story.

These interviews are designed to help you better understand how our community-based reporters gather the information that lands in your local news feed. You can find more Behind the Scenes from reporter across Ontario here

Today's spotlight is on's Alex Flood, whose story 'Fainting at grocery store, woman grateful for couple’s assistance' was published on Jan. 14.

Kaija Valley is searching for a couple she feels incredibly indebted to after a scary incident took place inside a local grocery store this weekend.

The young mother was standing in the checkout line with her three-year-old son at No Frills on Saturday morning when her blood sugar levels took a sudden drop, causing her to faint.

“I could feel the sweats coming on and my head felt like it was starting to close in,” she told SooToday. “I kept telling myself, ‘Just get through the checkout and you can eat something from the groceries to get the sugar up.’ I remember looking over at the chocolates, and before I knew it, I was out – everything went black.”

But according to Valley, the biggest surprise from that morning wasn’t the fact she passed out.

Instead, it was the actions of a quick-thinking, compassionate couple standing nearby that has resonated with her – and hundreds across the community – the most.

“I remember waking up hunched over on the ground, and this couple asked me if I was okay,” she recalled. “I told them I was pregnant and have low blood sugar. The woman immediately ran to get me an orange juice, and the man grabbed me a granola bar from his cart. They were both very understanding of the situation.”

“The man took my son out of the cart, gave him a granola bar, and distracted him while they got us situated on the bench just past the checkout,” she added. “The woman even put my groceries through and bagged them for me. It was wonderful.”

Determined to locate the couple and thank them for their act of kindness, Valley posted her story to "Keeping the Soo Safe" on Facebook yesterday. As of Sunday afternoon, more than 1,600 people have reacted to the post while the comments section has been filled with words of support for everyone involved.

“I didn’t want their act to go unrecognized,” Valley said. “We see so much negativity in Keeping the Soo Safe with break-ins, stealing, and assaults, so it’s nice to see all the positivity. It’s not just a search for these people, but a reminder that there are good people out there doing good things. This whole experience has been beautiful.”

Having established a career in the mental health field, Valley admits she’s learned of the horrors that can take place when a child is left unattended in a public setting. With that in mind, she feels even more grateful for the mystery couple stepping in so quickly.

“Because of the field I work in, I’ve done tons of training and seminars on human trafficking,” she said. “One of the things that we talk about is grocery stores being a huge target, especially with young kids being unattended at carts. Being in a vulnerable spot and having these two wonderful human beings with good hearts being concerned for my son and I was such an amazing act in our community.”

“This is one of those moments where we can be proud of Sault Ste. Marie,” she added. “There are good citizens here who are stepping up and looking out for one another. It’s too often people turn a blind eye, and it’s easy today to just pull out your phone and record these things that are happening and post it online instead of doing something about it.”

With a second child now on the way, Valley says she’ll be much more prepared if her blood sugar levels were to drop in public again.

“I’ve had these spells a few times, but I’ve been fortunate enough to be at home when this happens,” she said. “After talking with my midwife right after this happened, I’m carrying orange juice and chocolate bars with me everywhere I go now. Lesson learned for sure.”

If you were one of the people who provided Valley with assistance at No Frills on Saturday morning, feel free to reach out to us by emailing [email protected].

“I need to find out who these individuals are and properly thank them and recognize them,” Valley said. “I’m sure they don’t want the publicity, but I need them to know they’re amazing people and that I’m so grateful for them.”