FARMINGTON — A chance encounter on April 18, 2023, and a Facebook post about it, has resulted in far-reaching impacts.

On Jan. 28, Jeff Mumma, 51, of Mercer wrote a post on the Farmington, Maine Area: News & Community Facebook page hoping to find the individual who put things in motion.

“I’m not sure if (you) are from Farmington but that’s where this starts,” Mumma posted. “On April 18, 2022, you followed me from Farmington where I work to Mercer to inform me that you called me into the police for erratically driving my truck. It shook me that that would happen so I had my wife take me to the ER because I was sober and was going to get my daughter.”

A brain tumor pushing on the part of the brain that controls balance and judgment was discovered, he wrote. “I don’t remember what you look like or the color and make of your truck but I wanted to say thank you for saving my life. I’m back, tumor free, passed the driver’s test again and I owe it to you.”

The following day there was a comment on the post left by Sara Marie: “Not sure if I will have the right words for this, I don’t usually pay much attention to the posts in this page but this caught my attention and I started to read it to my son, as I read down to the part about picking up your daughter it clicked and I remembered this night!

“I ran down the hall to read this to my husband because he was the man that followed you that night. I remember his concern for you and your daughter that night and was relieved that you were sober but didn’t want anything to happen with all the swerving. I thank God that something was stirred in you that night to go see the Dr. and you are now tumor free!” Sara Marie wrote.


Mumma and Sara Marie or her husband were asked to contact The Franklin Journal to get more details on the encounter and its aftermath.

Mumma spoke with The Franklin Journal on Jan. 31.

It happened in April 2023, not in 2022, Mumma said. He hit the wrong number because his fingers are big, he said.

“I had been suffering, as I look back on it now and see,” he said. “I went through 18 years of child support, it is what it is. There is no choice, you have to go to work.”

Before that day, Mumma was having balance issues and was getting dizzy sometimes. He was working with his doctor, trying to get an MRI as his knees were aching but his insurance wouldn’t cover it.

“I left work (at Franklin Printing in Farmington) that day,” Mumma said. “I live in Mercer. I was going to meet my mother-in-law in Mercer to pick up my daughter, go home at the end of the day.”


Mumma’s wife and son had previously made some comments about his driving but Mumma just shook them off.

“This gentleman drove behind me from Farmington to Mercer the whole way,” Mumma said. “When I got there and got out I was a bit taken aback. You know it is not every day a stranger shows up, is there when you pick up your daughter.”

The man asked Mumma if he had been drinking or if he was really tired.

“I was like, no, because I just got out of work,” Mumma said. “That really shook me. A stranger out of the blue. You don’t have that happen every day.”

Mumma’s wife was at work at the time. He called her and said, “I need to go to the hospital. Something is going on.”

They went to the hospital in Skowhegan that evening where an ultrasound was done, he said.


“They found a lump in my head,” Mumma said. “They shipped me by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland the next day. Of course, I am kind of freaked out at this point. This is the last thing I am expecting. I didn’t understand.”

A week and a half later Mumma had surgery to remove the tumor. It was a glioma, he said.

About a third of all brain tumors are gliomas, according to the Johns Hopkins website. The most common symptoms are headaches, seizures, personality changes, numbness, problems with speech, and weakness in the arms, face or legs. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, vision loss and dizziness.

“Other symptoms of glioma appear slowly and may be subtle at first,” the website said. “Some gliomas do not cause any symptoms and might be diagnosed when you see the doctor about something else.”

“I don’t remember that drive,” Mumma said. “The gentleman said I was all over the road. I thought I was doing fine. That’s why I was so concerned.”

Looking back, he said, “Wow! I am lucky I didn’t kill anybody. That shook me right down to the core when that guy followed me. I felt something has got to be going on because I am not that bad of a driver.”


Mumma never got a chance to get his name, and forgot what he looked like.

“I was obviously in a state that night, didn’t know what was going on around me,” he said. “I always wished I could find him and thank him for saving my life because I wasn’t doing very well.”

On Jan. 28, Mumma woke from a nap and while waiting for the football game to start he was thinking about the man. “It happened in Farmington, I have got to get this out of me,” he said. “It was just swelling up inside me that this man needs to have the credit he deserves. He is the hero.”

It was always, “God, I wish I knew who he was, just to say thank you,” Mumma said. “I can now watch my daughter graduate. I get to have my marriage. It is so much better now.”

Mumma said he had been changing for some time and didn’t even know how much. “Everyone has told me how different I am now than what I used to be,” he said. “I am happier, less stressed out. My anxiety levels are lower.”

Mumma said he didn’t expect his post to affect so many people. At first he didn’t plan to contact The Franklin Journal because he didn’t think the story should be about him.


After seeing more than 600 people liked his post, he thought, “Maybe I ought to say something because there is a lot of bad things in this world going on right now. Maybe it will make somebody happier, make somebody think.”

The response to his post is the last thing he could have imagined, he said.

“Even if I never saw him, I just wanted to say ‘Thank you,’ That I appreciate what he did for me,” he said.

Mumma said the road back was long; he had to learn how to walk again.

Now back at work, he has since learned of other possible connections with the man.

“Somebody I work with actually knows him,” he said. “They may have coached my son, which is kind of odd and cool. I mean it’s a small world.”

The Facebook page was the first place he thought of to try to find him.

“Whether he ever saw it or not, thank you had to be said. I just happened to hit a home run,” he said. “I got lucky. He could have been somebody traveling through Farmington that day from further south and I never would have known.”

“It is something I will never forget,” he said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.