Unexpected help from co-worker saves woman's job
Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic experience for just about anyone. But a series of events that followed a wreck, only compounded the hardship for a Northwest Side woman.
Patricia Nelson turned to CASH FOR KINDNESS to reward the only person who stepped up to help alleviate her stress.
"It just felt like there was a dark cloud over me," she told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf.
It started with a head on collision last December. Her car was totaled.
“I just remember closing my eyes and the next thing I knew was all the airbags had deployed and I'm trying to get out of my car," she recalled.
Then came the debilitating injuries. She suffered from back pain and burns.
But the one thing that took the biggest emotional toll on her, was the possibility of losing her job.
"I thought I was going to lose my job with no car,” she explained. “And where was I going to go because I had just moved here from Tucson [Arizona]."
In the days that followed, a co-worker, who she now calls her Guardian Angel, offered to personally drive her to and from work.
Both of them worked in the same collections department. But the two barely knew each other.
Nelson invited him over to her house as part of a CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise.
“Because of you, you showed me a kindness that other people have not offered me,” she told him. “You were there for me with my car, when I didn't have a way to work. And you saved my job. You literally saved my job. And I'm very grateful to you. And that's why I had called Ryan."
Estrada drove out of his way, every day, for nearly a month so Nelson could keep her job.
"He knew that I had this big worry, and he wanted me to feel good that there was somebody there for me, looking out for me," she told Wolf.
Estrada couldn’t believe she secretly nominated him for the CASH FOR KINDNESS prize. He said he helped her because he was raised that way.
"I figured if it was somebody in my family in that position, I would want someone to help her too," the 47-year-old explained.
She tried to give him gas money. She even tried to help pay for some of his car repairs. Estrada wouldn't accept a dime.
“Frank, you look really surprised!” Wolf told him.
“I am,” he responded.
“Well, you my friend get a reward!” Wolf said next.
“Really?” Frank asked with a surprised look on his face.
“Do you know what that reward is?” Wolf asked.
“No sir, I don't," he said.
Wolf dug into his pocket and pulled out a wad of cash from Fox San Antonio.
Estrada counted the money aloud.
“$500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1,000!” he said with a smile. “Wow, Pat!"
She turned to him and explained how good things happen to good people.
“So it goes around,” she said. “You do a good deed and a good deed comes around back to you."
“That's a lot of money!” Estrada said while fanning out the money in his hand with a nervous giggle. I'm excited!"
Nelson reached out to give her savior a hug.
“Thank you Frank,” she said. “Thank you.”
Estrada plans to use his $1,000 reward on CASH FOR KINDNESS to help pay a chunk of his property tax bill that he fell behind on.
Click here to nominate someone for the CASH FOR KINDNESS award.