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Kindness Remembered 27 Years Later


A mother of six traveled to Fort Worth to thank the woman who gave her a home when she was a young, pregnant immigrant with no money and no home nearly 30 years ago.

Patience Menakaya was just weeks from giving birth, but her husband was stuck thousands of miles away in Nigeria. Because of her pregnancy, she couldn't attend classes at Dallas Baptist University, so her student visa was in jeopardy.

Lolamay Daugherty, the wife of the pastor at the church Menakaya attended, heard her story and knew just what to do.

"So we just moved her in with us," Daugherty said. “And she was pregnant, so we spent the night at the hospital with her when the baby was born. It was an exciting time."

It was no big deal for the Daughertys, whose children were grown. They bought baby supplies and taught Menakaya, a first-time mother, how to care for her newborn.

In a few months, she and her family moved on, and that was that.

Or so they thought.

After 27 years with no contact, Daugherty and Menakaya reunited.

Menakaya lives in Maryland after years of ups and downs and of moves across the United States to Nigeria and back.

She has six children, all successful. She told them all about Daugherty's kindness, saying her actions changed her life.

Recently, she asked her oldest daughter, Chidinma, to track Daugherty down.

"I kept telling my daughter about her and how she provided for me during the time I was pregnant with her," Patience Menakaya said. "And she was able to go to the Internet and she kept saying, 'Mommy, if you can give me her name, I might be able to find it.'"

They did — and returned to the same house in Fort Worth for an emotional thank you.

"I feel like what happened and how she helped my mom helped me to become who I am," Chidinma Menakaya said.

Daugherty is her godmother.

Daugherty had no inkling of how she had affected the Menakaya family but was thrilled to hear it.

"I think that's what we're here for on Earth, is to help each other," she said. "It does more for me to help somebody than it does for the person I'm helping, I think."

Photo Credit: NBC 5

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