Gulfport woman battling cancer thanks mechanic with hot meal

Gulfport woman battling cancer thanks mechanic with hot meal

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Heather Garmon likes to make chicken and dumplings for her co-workers. But on Wednesday, she cooked a big pot for a stranger who helped her mom after a hit-and-run accident back in May.

"The more I thought about it, the more people need to know about what this man does," said Heather's mom, Terri Anderson, who is battling metastatic breast cancer.

Anderson was in a turning lane on Pass Rd. when she says a car hit the front of her Toyota, then took off; leaving her with a hefty repair bill.

"There's no way, no way I could come up with $3,500 to fix it," said Anderson.

With only social security disability as income, Anderson relies on her car to get to and from medical treatments.

"I felt stuck. My car's sitting out there, and I kind of laid around a little bit and felt sorry for myself," said Anderson.

After posting a plea for help on Facebook, a man agreed to fix the car. But after Terri purchased the parts, the man backed out.

Heather's co-worker told the family about William Smith, who owns a paint and body shop on 34th St., and had offered to repair the car for $700.

"We didn't need it painted. We didn't need it pretty," said Anderson.

When Anderson went to pick up her car two weeks later, she broke down in tears - Smith would not accept payment for the repairs.

"I tried to get him to come inside so I could pay him what I brought and and he refused. He said absolutely not to worry about it. Just let people know that he's there," said Anderson.

Not only did Smith repair the car for free, he also painted it and bought new headlights with his own money.

"Oh, it was incredible. I mean, you can't duplicate that feeling. It was exciting to have my car back and to have someone be that nice, it's rare," said Anderson.

Anderson felt the only way she can repay that kindness was with a hot meal.

"He got my positive attitude back up. And even though I was upset with the driver that caused this whole mess, I mean, he certainly made it all better," said Anderson.

Anderson said she will spread the word about his auto body shop and continue to deliver tasty treats to Smith and his crew.

"My father always told me an honest man won't ever be a rich man. Just live a good life, treat people right, and the Lord will take care of you. Money's not everything," said Smith.

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