MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When a Southwest Memphis woman’s health takes a turn for the worse, a long-time friend stepped up to help.

Wanda and Dorothy have been friends for years, but lately Dorothy has some health challenges that are keeping her out of work and in a lot of pain.

“The person I’d like to help this week is my best friend Dorothy McGhee. Dorothy, I met her 40 years ago,” Wanda said.

Their friendship started in middle school.

“We attended middle school together,” Wanda told us. “When I met her she was sitting in the classroom by herself.  And I was like squeeze in beside her, so I spoke with her and we hit it off.  We hit it off wonderfully.”

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They were even friends all the way through high school and they are still close.

“We graduated together,” Wanda said. “I try to see her as much as I can between work and every day life.”

Wanda said her friend has had some health issues over the years.

“I think it’s degenerative disc disease, I think it is. Yes, and it’s very painful and it’s hard for her to do anything.  She can’t play with the grandkids like she wants, or anything like that,” she said.

What Dorothy needs is a medical procedure.

“She’s got insurance but the insurance she could afford doesn’t accept the doctors or specialists that she needs to see,” Wanda said.

We surprised Dorothy with $1,000 from News Channel 3 and our anonymous donors to help her cover some of her medical expenses. It was easy to see how much this surprise was appreciated.

“Thank you so much,’ she said.

She has had multiple surgeries over the past few years.

“I’m having muscle spasms in my neck and the back of my head. So everything here on the right side is swollen,” Dorothy said. “I have been in pain for years.  I’ve been working, working and working but that last day, I couldn’t even walk to my car.”

As for her friendship with Wanda, she had this to say.

“We’ve been friends for so long. I wouldn’t trade her in for nobody,” she said.