SAN ANTONIO -- Olivia Lee had a long string of bad luck. First, her diabetes had gotten so bad doctors had to take her left leg from just below the knee. Then the family's only vehicle went down. She paid a mechanic about $375 to get it back on the road.
A month later, it went down again. This time, the bill was almost $600. It took Lee some doing but she was finally able to pay the last $100 of the bill and was back on the road.
Until it went down a third time.
The mechanic had told Lee that he did far more work than what he had charged the first two times. He told her that he simply couldn't continue to work on the van for free, so he had it towed to Lee's mother's home.
It sat there until Eyewitness Wants To Know did a story on her problem. During our initial interview, Lee said she would just have to save the money to have it repaired.
I recommended, once she had the money saved, she contact my personal mechanic, Carlos Rodriguez, at Auto Service Experts. I said he was honest and fair, but I could never have predicted what Rodriguez would do.
After meeting with Lee and diagnosing the van, Rodriguez found it would be much cheaper to replace the engine than fix it. It was more bad news for Lee, but Rodriguez had good news for her too.
"She reminded me of my mother so much, I just wanted to help her," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez bought a certified used motor from LKQ Industries and installed it for free. Lee was astonished.
"When he first told me, I said, 'Is this a joke? Nobody does this for me!'" Lee said.
But it was no joke. It took Rodriguez the better part of three weeks -- since he worked on it in between paying jobs -- but Lee is now back on the road.
"I feel like someone gave me a second chance to get my life back," she said.