When CBS 5 first introduced you to Lillian Murphy, she was in constant pain.
A thyroid condition and the corresponding onset of severe osteoporosis robbed her of her youth.
"The pain is like getting hit by lightning, throughout your entire body and I end up on the floor. And once I'm on the floor I have to stay there," said Murphy.
Just four years ago, Lillian was showing her prize Salukis in dog shows in California.
But now she can't even take them for a walk.
A back brace would take the pressure off of her spine and allow her to move without pain, but her AHCCCS insurance wouldn't cover it.
That's when her friends contacted CBS5, and we were there for the emotional surprise.
"Lillian, this is the gentleman from CBS5 and the Pay It Forward program. Gayle and I nominated you. And they have given you $500 to pay for your back brace," said Lisa Boswell, Lillian's friend and one of the women who nominated her.
"Oh my God. This is a miracle," Lillian said while hugging Lisa.
Amazingly, $500 covered the full cost of the brace. And we went along with Lillian when she was fitted for her new life.
"This is wonderful. This is wonderful!" Lillian said as she stood up straight without pain for the first time in four years.
"This is a day to remember how wonderful human beings are to one another. And for me, this day is a miracle, not just because I can sit up straight and I can walk straight but it's a day that I know that I'm really cared for and have very special people in my life, and I'm so appreciative," said Lillian.
Lillian said she couldn't wait to actually be able to walk her dogs again. Dancing the Rumba might have to wait a while, but her future is now full of possibilities.
And she hopes others will be inspired by her story to give a helping hand.
"I want to just remind everybody, take the time, like these women did for me. Take the time to care for one another and to help one another, and like the program says, pay it forward. Help someone out, because in the end, all we have is each other," said Lillian.
Lillian's friends have started a web site to raise funds to help Lillian financially get back on her feet now that she literally can do so. Click here to help.
Copyright 2012 KPHO (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:21:22 GMT
Jesus Chacon (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
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