Stranger anonymously pays for North Carolina family's dinner - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Stranger anonymously pays for North Carolina family's dinner

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A stranger paid for a North Carolina family's meal after a difficult evening. A stranger paid for a North Carolina family's meal after a difficult evening.
CHINA GROVE, N.C. -

The heartfelt gesture of a stranger toward a North Carolina family has gone viral.

Ashley England and her family went out to eat when her oldest son, eight-year-old Riley, started to get frustrated. England told CNN her son was hungry and couldn't get the Netflix on her phone to work.

Riley has epilepsy and is non-verbal, which England says makes it hard for him to communicate. He often screams and acts out when he gets frustrated. That frustration, which included screaming, beating on the table and throwing the phone, caught the attention of some nearby customers.

But the kindness of one of those customers was about to change their evening.

A waitress approached their table with tears in her eyes, England told CNN, and told the family the man paid for their meal and left a note.

"God only gives special people to special people," the note read.

England says she broke into tears in the restaurant. After a difficult month trying to control her son's outbursts, she said the gesture was a much-needed one.

"The past month has been so hard," she told CNN. "He just doesn't know what we've been going through and how much it was needed at the moment."

A picture of the receipt with the message that England posted to Facebook has spread across the social networking website, with thousands of users around the globe "liking" the photo.

She says she's going to go back to the restaurant in hopes of finding the generous stranger and thank him in person, but left a note on her Facebook page sharing her feelings.

"Dear stranger, thank you for giving me a blessing tonight in a way you will never know," she wrote.

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