Greg Wilmoth - A Brotherly Bond That Knows No Bounds
This week we revisit a man who is the epitome of strength and resilience in the face of adversity.
Ricky Sims and his family have come a long way since HIS 'Pay it Forward' story aired last July - thanks, in part, to a kind and generous friend named Greg Wilmoth.
There are people we meet in our lives whose unwavering spirit and courage redefine the essence of who we are. I am honored to meet up with Ricky once again. Today he is on the OTHER side of our story - 'Paying it Forward' to his former plant manager at a Chattanooga business.
Ricky says, "He helped with all kinds of stuff. (Greg) paid for multiple ambulance rides to have surgeries, from home to the hospital, and paid for medication when I didn't have insurance."
Ricky lost his leg, his job, his truck, and ultimately his home in November of 2012. That's when a young driver hit him on his motorcycle while Ricky was out on a 'Toys for Tots' run. When Ricky awoke from a coma weeks later he found out he and his wife, Ashton, were expecting their second child. Life for the Sims family was difficult in those days. But, through it all Greg was always there to lend a helping hand.
"He actually built a frame to get in and out of my bed, to transfer me, because I could not do it myself. So, I had to have this piece of equipment that he built for me," Ricky explains.
I'm anxious to meet him as Ricky describes his genuine friend and how Greg would do anything in the world for anybody.
Ricky chokes back tears as he tells me, "He's been part of my family. He's been like a big brother to me. He's took care of me when I needed somebody there for me."
We count out our Pay it Forward cash and head to a conference room where Greg is just finishing up with a morning meeting.
The door opens and Ricky rolls toward Greg with cash in hand and says, "On behalf of McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 I want to give you $500 for helping me."
Puzzled Greg smiles and asks, "What's this for?"
Ricky replies, "I just wanted to thank you somehow for everything you've done for me."
Greg tries to return the money and says, "You don't have to do that!"
Ricky says, "That's what this is for - 'Pay it Forward' for helping me through my hard times."
Greg may have been caught off guard in the moment but he is not surprised by Ricky's good deed.
"He's got a heart bigger than anything you can see. It's just gigantic."
"I love you, knucklehead," Greg says laughing.
"Thank you for everything," Ricky replies with a chuckle.
This brotherly bond captures a true 'Pay it Forward' moment and proves the power of compassion can create a chain reaction of kindness.
Since our story aired last July, Ricky Sims has since qualified for disability. He and his family of four now have a home, a car and insurance.
However, each day is still a struggle following many surgeries and the threat that he may lose his other foot to medical amputation.
Despite life's troubles Ricky always has a positive attitude.
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