SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Becky Johnson and Mark McDonald of South Portland were in a bind on Thanksgiving. They have two kids and a newborn due in the next few weeks, so they were short on time for a proper Thanksgiving meal.
It also adds extra work that Zion, Johnson's and McDonald's upcoming child, was diagnosed this summer with a heart defect known as D-Transposition of the Great Arteries; meaning the arteries carrying blood out of his heart are crossed.
Johnson said when he is born in the coming weeks, he will need open-heart surgery immediately, and the family will be housed in Boston for more than a month.
"Hopefully that will be enough to save him, and he'll be here," Johnson said.
So, Johnson reached out on Facebook to see if anyone knew where she could pick up food.
It was then a stranger, Gene Willard, reached out and offered them something better.
"Can you make it to South Portland? Your family is invited to my home," Willard commented on her post on the Portland Maine Facebook Page.
Johnson said she would have taken him up on the offer, but with a sensitive pregnancy and two small children, she decided not to go.
But that's when Gene Willard decided to deliver further on his offer and bring a Thanksgiving meal, ready to bake, to Johnson's home.
"That's what it's all about. That's how the world goes around right. It all comes back full circle," Willard said. "I'm just some guy who saw a Facebook post and saw a need, so I fulfilled that need."
"It just shows the strength of Mainers and how generous they are," Johnson said. "He's become a friend and hopes we can stay in touch with him as time goes on."
Johnson and McDonald have a GoFundMe set up for their upcoming child, Zion's open heart surgery. They told NEWS CENTER Maine they need money for transportation and surgery costs.