NORTH BRUNSWICK - A simple act of kindness by a New Jersey waitress unexpectedly led to a life-changing event for her family.

Liz Woodward was working at a diner in southern New Jersey this past July when two firefighters came in for breakfast. The firefighters had just come back from fighting a massive warehouse fire in North Brunswick.

As a “thank you” for all of the hard work, Woodward offered to pay for their meal. When the firefighters found out she was raising money to pay for her sick father’s expenses, they jumped in to help.

"She took it out of her heart, out of the long hours and timeless hours, to spend her money on two firefighters like me and Tim,” says firefighter Paul Hullings.

Woodward’s father Steve was paralyzed several years ago after a brain aneurysm. Because of this, he has only been able to leave his home two times and only for doctor appointments.

The firefighters put out the word to help and soon thousands of dollars in donations came pouring in. The Woodwards were also given a special van by the company Mobility Ventures. This van will enable Steve Woodward to travel around.

"My heart is already so full with gratitude and with love from everything that transpired over the last year,” says Liz. “It's overwhelming."

The family says that they are ready to get back into life. Steve and his wife Beth even have a special date night planned for their 26th wedding anniversary.