This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Darlene Patterson knows a thing or two about hard work. For the past 14 years, she has been employed with Prestige Fabricators in Asheboro.

Patterson’s co-workers said she is a hard worker but has had a tough past few months.

Patterson’s longtime boyfriend, John Nance, was a truck driver. In December, he called her while driving to say he wasn’t feeling good. Nance later had a massive heart attack and died.

“The last time she talked to him, he said he was going to walk up to McDonald’s and get something to eat and see if it made him feel better. Well he never made it to that McDonald’s,” said Patterson’s close friend Darlene Anderson.

On top of dealing with her loss, Patterson struggles to pay the bills. For the past five years, she and John had split the bills and now she’s responsible for everything. So, Darlene Anderson called FOX8 and together we are paying it forward.

Patterson said she will use the money to get caught up. She said she’s thankful for having so many caring co-workers.

“I couldn’t ask for better people. My family. They’ve been right there for me,” said Patterson.