Everyday Angels

Everyday Angels: Prayer for help on a country road is answered

Alice and Bill Lewis of Gastonia.
Alice and Bill Lewis of Gastonia. COURTESY OF ALICE LEWIS

Three anxious weeks had passed since my husband found the reappearance of a cancer on his neck. He had been cancer-free for 10 years. Knowing this type of cancer could spread rapidly through his body, it was urgent that it be removed. When the day arrived for the surgery at the Duke hospital in Durham, we left home early for the 3 p.m. appointment.

We were a few miles from our destination when our car abruptly stopped! It would start and stop, but after a mile or two I began to panic when we could go no further. It was the time of no cellphones, and we were in a rural area with no houses in sight. Feeling helpless, I prayed.

Suddenly, a man approached on foot. He introduced himself and said he lived in Durham and had driven out to check on his farm in this vicinity. He realized our desperation and immediately took action. He found a roadside mechanic, who could not identify the problem but agreed to tow our car to a dealership within Durham’s city limits. Our good Samaritan drove us to the entrance of the clinic, and we entered at the appointed time. My husband underwent surgery that afternoon.

Our angel returned the next day with his wife to take me to get our car, which had been repaired. He explained that he had been doing mission work with his church and was glad he was able to help us. I am convinced all these years later that he was sent by God as an answer to my prayer.

Alice Lewis, Gastonia

Addendum from daughter Cathy Walters: Bill was my stepfather. They were married for 20 years. His Duke surgery was successful, and they had many good years of travel and happiness after that experience. He died in 2005, two months after this picture was taken at my daughter’s wedding. His death, at age 85, was due to a ruptured appendix – not cancer.

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Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson