BAYTOWN, Tx. (CNN) - It was a normal call for the men of Station 4 in Baytown. At a house one mile away, 65-year-old John McCormick collapsed while mowing his front yard.
He had a history of heart trouble and, this time, his heart stopped.
EMT and firefighters revived him and followed the ambulance to the hospital. But, then engine driver Luke Bednarek had an idea. They drove back to the house.
“We're all fighting over who can push the mower first,” said Lt. J.D. Giles to CNN affiliate KHOU.
And that is when a neighbor secretly took a picture of firefighter Blake Steffenauer finishing the front yard.
“I just happen to get off the truck first and get the lawnmower first,” said Steffenauer.
They took turns and did the backyard, too. Afterward, they locked the garage and put the key in the mailbox and left a hand-written note, which read, “We felt bad that your husband didn't get to finish the yard, so we did.”
“We are very sorry that your husband became ill, we hope has a speedy recovery,” the letter closes, signed by Station 4.
They didn't their gesture was that big of a deal.
“Just something to help someone out in the worst time of their life,” said Giles.
It was the letter and the gesture that made the daughter weep.
“It just showed me that there is still compassion,” daughter Jeana Blackford said. “That people still do random acts of kindness every day for people that they don't know.”
This story does not have a happy ending as John McCormick died two days later in the hospital. But the family thanked the firefighters for giving them those two days to say goodbye and for restoring their faith in people with a simple act of kindness.
“I just couldn't believe it,” said John's wife Patsy McCormick. “I couldn't believe that they took the time out to do that.”
“It just speaks to their character,” said Dan Blackford. “They say honor is doing the right thing when no one is looking and they were very honorable.”
The picture of that random act posted to the City of Baytown's Facebook page is already going viral. The McCormick family is getting calls from as far away as New Zealand and they are thankful a neighbor took it.
“It shows just how special they really are,” said Jeana Blackford.
They say thank you to the firefighters and show the rest of us what kindness looks like.
“We love you,” said Patsy and Jeana.
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