Oct 14, 2013 12:12 AM by Matthew Schwartz
Tucson--They are strangers in tearful hugs, brought together by a News 4 Tucson Investigators report. George and Norma Lopez saw our recent story about bed bugs at Park Village Apartments on Tucson's south side.
George Lopez told us, "I was watching the news broadcast and you were on and immediately we knew that we had to do this, without a doubt."
The Lopez' saw Lilia Quiroz showing us bed bugs she saved in a jar. They saw the bite marks on her hands, and on the arm of her 18 year-old daughter, who's in college and also lives here. They were appalled to see that Lilia, a 61-year old day care worker, had to put her mattress on the porch, because it was so infested. They saw that she slept on the floor in her one-bedroom, $400 a month apartment.
Norma Lopez said, "I could not imagine Lilly sleeping on the floor that is the worst thing. When I saw that, it just gave me chills."
They saw and heard Lilia's cry for help, for her and her daughter.
Those cries were answered after the News 4 Tucson Investigators report. First, Pima County sent an inspector over to put more pressure on the apartment complex to get rid of the bed bugs. The complex then sent in an exterminator, the second one to come here, who, by Lilia's account did a good job. On Friday, George and Norma Lopez drove from their home in Corona de Tucson to Lilia's apartment.
They brought a barely-used, queen-size mattress, box spring and frame to Lilia. She was overcome with emotion.
Lilia told us, through tears and a translator, "I thank them so much, they are good people."
Norma Lopez is a retired nurse; her husband is a retired naval officer and Vietnam veteran. He served his country, now he's serving a stranger, in his hometown.
Mr. Lopez told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, referring to Lilia's situation, "To see that happening here, in our city of Tucson, just doesn't seem right. We should be able to help people, we should be able to insure that at least everybody has a bed to sleep on."
Norma Lopez said, "We are doing it from our heart because there are so many people out there that are needing things, and people don't know it, unless you go out there and investigate.
The Lopez' and Lilia exchanged phone numbers. And Lilia said she's looking forward to sleeping in her new bed.
Lilila said , "I will be really happy when all the bed bugs are gone and I get to sleep comfortably and won't get bit anymore.
George and Norma Lopez and Lilia Quiroz may get together again, but if even they don't, Lilia says she will always be grateful to them, that she will never forget the kindness of strangers.
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