x
Breaking News
More () »

CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego woman thanks community for support and pays it forward

To pay it forward, Lizzy’s wish is to take care of the riding program and the heroes who came to her home that night trying to resuscitate her father.

SAN DIEGO — The Simas family of Clairemont is giving early thanks this season. Teri Simas' husband Ron passed away in May of a sudden heart attack. Since then, the family has received so much care and support.

“Today is a day of closure… being able to thank those who helped us,” said Teri Simas. 

Now her daughter who has special needs wants to pay it forward to those who have helped her. 

Teri’s focus has been helping her two daughters Nazare and Lizzy grieve, with their therapy dog Gloria is by their side. Lizzy, 24, has special needs and has been a Helen Woodward Therapeutic Riding client for four years.  

“Jack loves to play, I ride all the horses and kiss them,” said Lizzy Simas. 

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, all programs at the Helen Woodward Animal Center shutdown. 

"Helen Woodward opened for us immediately to start therapy riding for Lizzy," said Teri Simas.

To pay it forward, Lizzy’s wish is to take care of the riding program and the heroes who came to her home that night trying to resuscitate her father. First responders got in an invitation to attend a tribute for Ron at Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Simas presented generous monetary gifts to the San Diego police foundation, San Diego Fire, Station 36 in Clairemont and the Helen Woodward Animal Center. 

Lizzy’s other wish, an Amazon Wish list, was for all items going toward the riding program. Lizzy is now able to express her feeling through dogs and horses. The Simas family says to reunite is rewarding and brings comfort. 

Now only does Station 36 hold a special place in the heart of the Simas family, there's also a special place in my heart. A message I shared on social media. 

“For FIVE years... I’ve been wanting to visit San Diego Fire station 36 in Clairemont to thank them for giving my mother another year of life. My mother was having congestive heart failure while battling lung disease/pneumonia. February 2015, my mom told my dad to take her to Station 36 down the street because she couldn’t breathe, having chest pain and wasn’t going to make it to the hospital. He wanted her to go straight to the hospital, she said no! So my dad took her to Station 36. My dad ran into the fire garage in panic, the crew ran to the car to hook her up to oxygen and transported her to Sharp. The doctor told me she wouldn’t have made it to the hospital. One fireman remembers the day. Today, I was sent on a community story and #Station36 was there. I finally got to thank them.”