Lifestyle & Human Interest

Viral Video: Target Employees Go Above and Beyond for Teacher Who Fainted in Store


When 24-year-old English teacher Emme Aipperspach was shopping for a few essentials at a Target in North Dakota, she had no idea that she was about to experience a stroke caused by a blood clot.

As she browsed the selection at the Bismarck Target, her first indicator that something was wrong was when she started to feel faint.

“I was just browsing the notebooks, as any good English teacher would, and I suddenly felt really hot, light-headed, heard like the whooshing in my ears. I was like, ‘Crap, I’m gonna go down,'” she told KXMB-TV.

Thankfully, Travis Parker, a Target human resources director who had worked for the company in multiple capacities over two decades, was there to help. He gave Aipperspach some juice and she called a friend.

“We just waited up front, had a really good conversation, just connection about her day,” Parker said. “She left with a friend and went to go get checked out. So we didn’t think a whole lot about it in the — at that time.”

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But trouble was still brewing, and Aipperspach wrote about the harrowing ordeal that followed on Facebook.

“I fainted out of nowhere in Target on Wednesday and came to the ER where I had a serious reaction to something going on in my body,” Aipperspach wrote in a post detailing her condition and thanking everyone who had been helping.

“After several scans, blood tests, heart screenings, and a plethora of great medical staff helping me out, I found out I had an acute ischemic right cerebellum stroke. The cause, whether or not it’s likely to happen again anytime soon, and long-term effects are unknown at this time.

“My biggest struggles have been balance/coordination, nausea, and a slight change to my speech (for those of you who know how fast I speak, I just talk at a normal rate now). I’m being given medication to help keep me stable and ensure I’m comfortable. I hear more from the neurologist today, so I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.”

By July 24, she was home again, with the suspected cause of the episode being a side effect linked to a medication she had taken. Though she had some more testing to go through to make sure everything was shipshape, her prognosis was looking good — and things could have gone south very quickly.

“I have felt so loved by the prayers and well wishes you all have sent!” she wrote. “Your prayers really did make a difference!! This outcome has been best-case scenario considering the circumstances.

“The neurologist said that if the clot would have been a centimeter away from where it was, I likely would have been paralyzed. I truly believe that I’m okay thanks to the prayers of loved ones like you all.”

In the meantime, Aipperspach had left her car parked at the Target. A family member called the store to give an update and get permission to leave the vehicle there until Aipperspach could retrieve it.

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When he heard what the teacher had been through, Parker decided to do something extra special for her.

“When I heard that, I just … I felt like it was necessary to do a little care package,” he said. “I just thought, you know, here’s someone who’s 24, she seemed like a really great person, and to have a stroke, she would be going through a lot. So I got my team together and I said, ‘Let’s just do a basket up for Emme.'”

Once she was well enough, Aipperspach went back to get her car and was greeted by a note.

“I thought the note was, ‘Oh, he had to fill out some paperwork for corporate or whatever,’ because if someone gets hurt, you know. But I came in and they’re like, ‘Oh wait, we have something for you,'” she said.

At the time, she was so blown away by the act of kindness that she took to TikTok to extol the virtues of the caring team who had compiled a handwritten get-well card and a basket of things a teacher could use.

“I just think it’s just good for everybody just to be able to take a step back and, and just do something nice for somebody or if somebody’s in need, help them out,” Parker said.

“To be honest, in retrospect, I’m really not surprised by this behavior,” the 24-year-old later said. “I think it was just very kind and generous and just kind of the way North Dakotans work.

“So I’m very grateful to be from here and be blessed by awesome people like Travis and the Bismarck Target team.”

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