Keep the tissues handy.
Chris Wright was on his way to church with his wife and children in 2014 when he noticed an empty car stranded on the side of the road in Georgia. It was raining. A little further ahead was a woman walking with a gas can, presumably headed to the gas station about half a mile away. Feeling compelled to do something, Wright dropped off his family at church and then headed back to help the woman.
Not only did he transport her to the gas station and back to her car, but he also gave her all he had in his pocket that day—$40. It was a small and spontaneous gesture that went a long way for the woman, as Wright recalled that she cried when he handed her the money. What happened that day—and nearly three years later—is nothing short of a miracle.
Fast forward to 2017, Wright is tasked with caring for his mother, Judy Wright, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. To assist with the day-to-day needs of his mother, the family hired home health aides. However, one nursing aide in particular stood out among the rest, going the extra mile, even on her days off, to care for Wright’s mother. Wright hadn’t met the aide in person at this point, but he knew she was highly favored by his parents.
"My dad called me after she leaves and said, 'Hey, I got a lady that we need to use because for whatever it is, there's something different about her that I feel better when she's in the house and your mom loves her as well,'" Wright told Good Morning America. "And I said, 'Oh, great.' I texted her and set up a time for her and I to meet to talk about the times she can care for her and what we wanted to have done."
Wright eventually met the aide, whose name is TunDe Hector, but neither recognized the other at first. Hector was wearing a different hairstyle, and Wright was wearing a hat. As they started talking, Hector recounted the story of the man who helped her three years ago when her car ran out of gas. Wright immediately got emotional.
"I just looked at her and I said, 'TunDe, that was me.' And we both just start crying. And she said, take your hat off. And so I took my hat off and she said, 'It was you.' And we both, we just cried and had a moment right there," Wright said.
Hector remained by Wright’s mother's side (pictured above) until she passed away on July 9.
Instead of sympathy cards and flowers, Wright asked those who attended his mother’s funeral to honor her memory with a donation. The recipient of said charitable contribution? TunDe Hector.
Wright was aware that Hector wanted to finish nursing school, and he set out to help her achieve her dream. So he started a fundraising drive on YouCaring—within 45 minutes of posting it, the donations surpassed their initial $1,000 goal. Once the fundraiser was shared on social media, Wright said they raised $8,000 in less than a week. When he presented Hector with the check, she was overwhelmed with gratitude.
"Lord, have mercy! Y'all don't know how worried, I was so worried [about] how I'm going to pay for my school," Hector said.
And the donations keep pouring in. To date, more than $20,000 has been raised to help Hector continue her education.
"It's just amazing what's been done," Wright said. "It's a neat thing. It's helped my wife and I, it's almost like the Lord has used all this to somewhat take some of the sting out of the grief of losing my mom."
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Through a mother’s death and a chance encounter, this beautiful, divinely-guided story should give us all a little more hope in humanity.