Sometimes in life we cross paths with just the right person at just the right time.
This was the case for Jennifer and Don Austin, a Florida couple who was blessed with help from a stranger right when they needed it most. Not only that, but the stranger ended up going above and beyond with an even greater act of generosity.
Jennifer shared their story to the Love What Matters Facebook page, where it’s been touching people’s hearts.
Don had spent much of this year in the hospital ICU with a number of health complications. Things got so bad that the doctors took drastic action and amputated his leg below the knee.
On the bright side, doctors quickly said he was healthy enough to return home. Family members were surprised and asked about rehab or physical therapy. The family said they were told Don didn’t need any.
So Don headed home, but the happy homecoming was short-lived. As soon as he returned to the house, the family faced a major problem:
The now wheelchair-bound Don was unable to get up his front stairs.
Don had planned to use his crutches, but to his dismay, he found he didn’t have the strength or balance to use them yet, and even with the whole family making an effort, they were unable to get the wheelchair up the steps. Don ended up down on the stairs, and they just could not get him up.
That’s when a car happened to roll down their street…and slowed down at the sight of them struggling.
A man named Steve Smith got out of the car and asked if they needed help.
Gratefully, the family accepted—and Steve lifted Don into the house, putting him on the couch. The family was stunned by this sudden act of kindness.
“We were pretty emotional at that time and so grateful for this angel that took the time to help,” Jennifer wrote.
But that was only the beginning. The next day, Steve returned.
Steve not only paid the family another visit, but he brought his dad and a truck full of supplies.
It turns out, Steve happened to be a welder who was quite handy with tools—and he was there to build the Austins a wheelchair ramp for their home.
Steve could’ve walked away from the strangers’ situation, knowing that he had done them a kindness already. But he also knew the problem wasn’t solved just by helping them out once—there wouldn’t always be a stranger passing by in case of an emergency.
So he used his skills and knowledge to help them out permanently—a selfless act that moved the family immensely.
“[It] brought Don, his mom, his nurse and myself to tears,” Jennifer wrote, according to ABC 7. “We just couldn’t believe it.”
“To be on the receiving end of such kindness is so humbling.”
But it was more than just an act of kindness—it was a light at the end of a dark tunnel, inspiring some hope after an extraordinarily challenging time in their lives.
Writing that “the stranger is now a friend,” Jennifer says that Steve “brightened our spirits that had become increasingly dimmed over the difficult months.”
“Like a breath of fresh air he is, and there is a sense of optimism back in our home because of his kindness.”