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Nashville man inspired to help following Ch. 4 story

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MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) -

A Channel 4 viewer, wanting to make a personal impact following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has given a Middle Tennessee woman a gift too special for words.

Brent Keally, of Nashville, saw NBC's Ann Curry call for people to commit 26 acts of kindness in the name of the 26 children and adults who were lost at the Newtown, CT, school.

Thursday, Keally started with act No. 1, as he surprised a woman whose story Channel 4 News first showed you Wednesday night.

Susan Dodd, 72, had scraped together enough money to buy a 2000 Kia Sportage from Islander Auto Sales in Mount Juliet.

She was down to her last payment - a late payment of $59 - but on the night before making the payment, Wesley Bridges at Islander Auto Sales arrived to her home and repossessed the car.

Dodd didn't have the money to hire an attorney, so for two years she quietly conducted a personal investigation without any means of transportation.

Dodd finally got her day in court, and Wilson County Judge Clara Byrd ordered Bridges to pay back $3,300 dollars at 29 percent interest - the same interest rate he charged Dodd.

It was a great victory for Dodd, but two months after the ruling, she still has not seen a penny and still doesn't have a car.

That's when Channel 4 aired her story, and Keally, a medical device salesman, felt compelled to act.

We asked him to come and surprise Dodd as we pretended to interview her for a follow-up story in Hermitage.

"It really touched me," Keally said. "On behalf of me and my family, I'd like to present this check to you in memory of those kids for $2,600 towards the car of your choice. Merry Christmas."

Dodd, who couldn't stop thinking and talking about being cheated out of her car for two years, was speechless.

"You don't have to say anything. You've been through a lot. A lot of people have. So it was something that we wanted to do for you," Keally said.

Keally not only gave Dodd $2,600 dollars, but he also was generous enough to take time off of work to meet Dodd in person.

Previous story

A 72-year-old Nashville woman represented herself in a legal fight against a used car dealer, and the judge's ruling now has the dealer repaying the woman with the same high interest rate he had charged.

Susan Dodd had scraped together enough money to buy a 2000 Kia Sportage from Islander Auto Sales in Mount Juliet.

She was down to her last payment - a late payment of $59 - but on the night before making the payment, Wesley Bridges at Islander Auto Sales arrived to her home and repossessed the car.

Dodd didn't have the money to hire an attorney, so she quietly conducted a personal investigation without any means of transportation.

"A car is just a big part of your life. If you can't get out of the house, you can't just sit there and look at the four walls all day. I haven't been to a mall in I don't know when," Dodd said.

Then, the case went in front of Judge Clara Byrd.

The judge not only told the Mount Juliet car dealer to repay Dodd for the original price of the car, plus all fees and interest, but she also discovered Dodd had been paying 29 percent interest on the car and ordered Bridges to apply the same 29 percent interest on his repayment to Dodd.

Now, Bridges said he has lost everything, including his job, but he also said he is honoring his payment as he works through court costs.

"I mean, the judge didn't see it my attorney's way. She got a judgment, and I'm paying as much as I can," he said. "She's going to charge me 29 percent interest, but I'm paying."

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