Woman pays it forward to help veteran affected by stroke - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Pay It Forward

Woman pays it forward to help veteran affected by stroke


Eyewitness News helped one New London woman repay her longtime love for his service to country while in the Marines.

About seven years ago, Joe Wilson, who served in the Marines, had a stroke and his life was changed forever.

"We had just had a conversation. He hung up," said Mary Harrison. "And shortly after that he had a stroke."

Joe Wilson, who was an instructor for the developmentally challenged, fell into a coma.

"They said 'Prepare yourself. He may not make it,'" Harrison said. "And if he did make it, he would not be who he used to be."

Once a marathon runner, Wilson developed a mobility problem and does not get out of bed much.

"So he's just not able to go out without assistance," Harrison said. 

However, he never stopped loving her.

"He calls me at 7. He calls me at 11. And he calls me at 3. Every day. Just to check on me," said Harrison. "I ask him, I say, 'Joe, how are you?' He goes, 'No, how are you?' That's what he wants to know."

Through our "Pay It Forward" contest, WFSB gave Harrison $500 to help Joe Wilson watch his favorite football team because his current TV is old and the picture is fading. 

"He loves to watch football. He's a Philadelphia Eagles fan," Harrison said. "And he can't always see the score at the bottom of the screen because he has the older television."

When Wilson discovered the news that he was getting a new television set, the retired Marine was overwhelmed.

"Oh, it'll mean an awful lot," said Wilson. "Because I watched TV about 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since I'm down, you know."

The two are expected to purchase the television before the holidays.

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