Duke Employees Reunite After Car Accident

After Shy Parker was struck by a car, Sharon Rhoden ran to her aid

After Shy Smith was struck by a car, Sharon Rhodes ran to her aid.
Sharon Rhoden, left, helped Shy Parker after she was hit by a car. Photo by Jonathan Black.

Sharon Rhoden was driving on Durham’s West Club Boulevard when she saw a woman get hit by a car as she crossed the street.

Sharon quickly pulled off the road, dialed 911 and ran to help the woman, Charletta “Shy” Parker. Sharon, a staff specialist for Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, had no idea at the time that Shy worked at the Duke Dialysis Center as a biomedical waste handler.

“I kept saying, ‘hold on baby. It’s going to be OK,’” Sharon said.

Shy, whose head was bleeding, kept trying to get up, but Sharon held her. Before the ambulance took Shy away, Shy gave Sharon her mother’s phone number.  

“I don’t remember much from that day. I just know somebody had their hand on my back to not let me get up,” Shy said. “She was an angel that came down to help me.”

On Oct. 24, Sharon, left, and Shy meet for the first time.Sharon didn’t know Shy’s name and posted about the incident on Facebook the day it happened in June. Meanwhile, Shy, who was recovering with a broken tibia and concussion, also posted on Facebook a few days after the incident and asked if anyone could find the woman who helped her.

Mutual friends put the clues together.  

The two were connected over social media on Oct. 12 and started messaging on Facebook and texting. Two weeks later, on Oct. 24, they met for the first time at Sharon’s office in Duke Hospital South. Shy gave Sharon a necklace that says, “I will always be at your side.”

There were hugs, selfies and tears.

“I told people I’m finally going to meet my hero. You are my hero,” Shy told Sharon. “I’m so thankful you stopped your car.”