Story of mystery diner paying family's bill inspires thousands - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Story of mystery diner paying family's bill inspires thousands

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Photos courtesy Ashley England Photos courtesy Ashley England
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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The story of a North Carolina family who received a surprise, anonymous note while dining out with their child is going viral online and inspiring thousands of people to pay the good deed forward in their own lives.

Ashley England tells Channel 4 News a mystery customer at a restaurant wanted to pay the entire bill for her family after seeing her 8-year-old son, Riley, who has special needs, get a little loud during dinner. That anonymous diner also had a waitress hand the family a note that simply said: "God only gives special children to special people."

England says she was overwhelmed by the gesture.

"She just walks over, and I remember she had tears in her eyes. And I just remember her saying, 'I hope I can do this without crying, but your meal's been paid for,' and handed the note that they wanted me to give. I just looked at my husband and started crying. And I just boo-hooed right there in front of everyone. I couldn't even look up, I just had my head down," England said.

England posted a photo of the note online, and since then, waves of well-wishes have been pouring in.

Riley has had three brain surgeries for epilepsy and is non-verbal, and now that special note will be saved in Riley's scrap book, his mother said.

"We've been going through a whole lot. It's not about him paying for a meal. It's just the fact that he took that, and took that simple gesture, and left that note. That meant more than anything," England said.

Something extraordinary happened on the Channel 4 Facebook page after we posted a link to this story. In just about a day, the post has been "liked" by more than 600,000 people and has reached more than 15 million people around the world.

Be sure to leave your comment, by visiting this story on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WSMVTV.

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