British Columbia

'The work of angels': Woman reunites with cop who rescued her from the streets 13 years ago

Krisi Ferris was addicted, homeless and wandering in the rain when RCMP Staff Sgt. Brent Elwood saw her on the streets of Vancouver and gave her what she needed to get her life back on track.

Krisi Ferris was addicted and homeless. Brent Elwood offered a bus ticket and hope.

Thirteen years ago Krisi Ferris was separated from her family and homeless until Brent Elwood saw her and felt compelled to help. (Submitted by Krisi Ferris and Brent Elwood)

Krisi Ferris was addicted, homeless and wandering Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in the dark, so when a man in a car pulled up beside her she wrote him off as just another creep on the streets ... until he spoke.

"I don't think you belong here," were the words that got her attention. 

The fateful sentence was spoken by RCMP Staff Sgt. Brent Elwood, who at first glance thought the woman, who was dragging a bag, was a lost tourist.

As he drove closer, he could tell that was not the case and felt compelled to help. What happened next on that night in 2006 changed Ferris's life.

After years of searching, Ferris, now a Calgary resident, found Elwood after reaching out to Vancouver Is Awesome and asking the media outlet to help find him. It worked. Now she is reconnecting for the first time with the man she describes as her saviour. 

"I was at my lowest point. There was no light left," said Ferris who told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC's The Early Edition her family at the time was in Alberta "practising the tough love technique," which meant she couldn't turn to them and had nowhere to go. 

When she heard Elwood say she didn't belong where she was she says she "knew it was the work of angels."

"I had said it to myself a thousand times," said Ferris, who told Quinn hearing those words stirred her to turn around and approach the car and when she realized a police officer thought she was worth taking time to talk to her "knees just buckled" with gratitude.

Homeward bound

Elwood learned Ferris had family, including a daughter, in Calgary. He offered to get her a room for the night and buy her a bus ticket home the next day.

Ferris agreed.

"It's hard for me to really put my finger on the reason why Krisi stood out, whatever it was, for whatever reason. I just felt, at that particular time, I needed to help her," said Elwood.

When he got home, he shared Ferris's story with his own family. His wife packed Ferris a lunch and his two-year-old daughter picked out one of her dolls for Ferris to take home to her own baby. Elwood contacted Ferris's family to tell them his plan and the next morning he went back to the hotel, uncertain if the young woman would show up.

She did.

"He was the only person who believed in me," said Ferris. "To have him stand up for me and have [my family] meet me at the bus station, it was life changing."

Sober and grateful

Ferris got sober 10 years ago and since then she has been searching for the man who she says saved her life.

They spoke Thursday for the first time since 2006 on The Early Edition.

"Thank you for not giving up on me," said Ferris, her voice cracking with emotion. "I don't know where I would be right now ... I'm pretty sure I'd be dead."

The reunion was emotional for Elwood too.

"I thought about you all the years, every time I drove through " said Elwood. "I was very, very happy to hear that you're doing well."

To hear the complete interview with Krisi Ferris and Brent Elwood, see the audio link below:

The Early Edition

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