Following the severe weather conditions of Hurricane Florence, this rural community was left stranded by a damaged road in rural Virginia.

Although dozens of volunteers stepped forward to help fix the road, one man in particular found a greater meaning in his mission: he was helping to repay the police officer who saved his life 18 years ago.

Bill Ford and his neighbors were trapped in their Amelia County homes after the floodwaters forged a 10-foot drop in the private road running through their neighborhood.

Ordinarily, it would have cost them roughly $10,000 to fix themselves – but after broadcasting their dilemma through local news outlets and social media, a team of contractors and engineers offered to fix the road themselves.

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The team of helpers was organized by Winston Marsden, a Lynchburg business owner who felt inclined to help after he saw a post about the road on social media. He coordinated the effort through several phone calls with Ford – but when they finally met in person, they realized that they had met each other before.

Ford is the former deputy of the Amelia County Sheriff’s Department. Back in 2000, he answered a call about a young man who had fallen into a icy creek from his ATV. With an internal temperature of just 75º Fahrenheit, Ford immediately rushed the man to the hospital where he was saved.

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That man was Marsden – and now, 18 years later, he is grateful to be repaying the debt to his savior.

“I made him a promise way back when, that I was going to do something for him, to pay him back, and this is it,” Marsden told WWBT.

(WATCH the video below)

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