Sometimes a simple task, like fixing a flat tire on a hot day, reveals itself to be so much more.
Two women were heading home on a 117-degree day in during rush hour when they heard a "thump, thump, thump" before seeing their tire was shredded.
Anne Twente and her 88-year-old oxygen-dependent friend, Virginia Bennett, weren't sure what to do.
"I was frantic, my heart was banging away," Bennett said.
"Who do you call, what do you do? It was scary," Twente said.
They made a bad situation worse when they turned off the engine and the air conditioner, thinking their car might overheat.
They sat, with water dwindling, hoping someone would stop but cars just kept going by.
"This car pulled up behind me, so I got out and out of that car came a lovely young lady who said, 'Do you need your tire changed?'" Twente said.
Amanda Palandri stopped while she was on a break between her two jobs. She saw them, made a U-turn and came back to save the day.
"If it hadn't been for Amanda, we'd probably still be sitting there now, three weeks later. Nobody stops," Twente said.
"This Amanda was something else, she was so gracious," Bennett said.
"She probably did save our life," Twente said.
They awarded Palandri $500.
"I didn't think anybody would be that grateful, because it's not that big of deal to help," Palandri said.
"Your character is defined by doing something for somebody that you know could never pay you back, so I never expected anything, especially not this," Palandri said.
When asked how she planned to spend the $500 awarded to her, she didn't say. But she emailed later saying she was embarrassed to admit she needed that money to help pay for a badly needed heart surgery.
She needs surgery and a pacemaker at the age of 27.
An account has been set up for Amanda to help raise money for her needed heart surgery.
People can donate to the Amanda Palandri heart trust at any bank of America branch.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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