A kind Texas state trooper helps an elderly woman unable to afford tire replacements

In Texas, an elderly woman’s spirits were deflated when she realized she couldn’t afford to replace all the tires on her car after one had been punctured. Unbeknownst to her, a state trooper overheard her conversation with the mechanic as she attempted to leave the repair shop.

Mary Summers, a 92-year-old Texan, experienced a stroke of misfortune when her car rolled over a nail, causing a punctured tire. Seeking assistance at Integrity Tires in Richmond, Texas, Mary was informed that the necessary repairs exceeded her budget.

Omar Oregueda, the attending mechanic, sympathetically explained to Mary that her vehicle couldn’t be safely driven with all four tires in a dangerously worn condition. A mere patch wouldn’t suffice—they needed to be replaced, amounting to a hefty $600.

Expressing her financial limitations, Mary told a local news station, KHOU, “I can’t replace all the tires. I can only afford to replace the one. Please let me know the cost of this particular tire.”

Despite Mary’s plea, Oregueda stood firm, clarifying that the damaged tire was beyond repair, while the others were equally worn-out and posed a serious risk.

Video footage from the repair shop, obtained by KHOU, captures Mary’s disappointment as she processes the news. Slowly, she moves her walker closer to her chair, mustering the strength to stand and leave the shop.

What Mary didn’t realize was that a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper was seated just behind her, attentively listening to the entire conversation.

Before departing the premises, DPS Trooper Drew Stoner walked over to the desk behind Mary and left her with a heartwarming surprise.

Shortly thereafter, Omar returned to Mary, revealing that she would receive four brand-new tires at no cost.

“He said, ‘they’re paid for,'” Mary recalled, her jaw dropping in disbelief. “I can hardly talk about it now because I want to cry. He did that. And, he did it, and he left.”

Moved by the trooper’s generosity, Omar also wanted to do something kind for the elderly woman and offered her a free oil change.

“To witness a stranger taking care of another stranger like that… Let’s all just take care of each other,” Omar expressed. “That’s what it’s about.”

Eager to express her gratitude to the officer for his unexpected act of kindness, KHOU tracked him down and organized a reunion between Mary and Trooper Stoner at her home.

Stoner explained that he wasn’t seeking attention but rather acted on an instinctual feeling to ensure Mary’s safety, as well as that of other drivers.

“I was thinking, ‘What if she goes out on the road, and a tire fails, completely falls apart? And she’s stranded on the side of the road?'” he shared.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, Mary embraced the trooper, remarking, “I’m just so thankful for you. I’m so proud. I’m proud to meet someone with such a big heart. I just love you to death.”

The heartwarming story of Trooper Stoner coming to Mary’s rescue has gone viral, with people commending the officer’s unsolicited kindness.

One person wrote, “This trooper is a true American!! He embodies what America is all about: people helping people, no matter what.” Another simply stated, “That’s a hero!”

While Trooper Stoner’s act of kindness toward Mary occurred in 2020, the following year he was honored with the Medal of Valor—the DPS’s highest distinction—for his “bravery and dedication” in apprehending a shooter and saving a woman with gunshot wounds, an act that took place prior to his shift.

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