Despite his passengers’ complaints, a bus driver diverted his route to transport an old man who had a stroke on the bus to the hospital. In the end, he received an unexpected prize for his bravery.
It was a regular day in Florida when Edward Thomas drove to 9th Avenue West. The weather was pleasant and chilly, and a gentle breeze periodically brushed against his face through the window.
Edward had a lot on his mind while he drove like he did every day, but the situation inside the bus made it difficult for him to focus on anything. The children were conversing, and the elders were engrossed in their morning newspapers, loudly discussing what was going on in town.
As Edward reached the day’s first stop, some of the chatterboxes disembarked, and several others boarded. Among the new passengers, Edward spotted an older guy entering the bus with the assistance of a young man, who then exited as the older man boarded.
Looking at his condition, Edward hoped he wasn’t traveling alone. He was in his late nineties, walked with a cane, and appeared frail. Edward motioned for the front-seat passenger to take a different seat and give the old gentleman his.
“Good morning, sir! Are you comfortable in this seat?” Edward greeted him. The man, however, did not respond; instead, he stared at Edward for a few moments and then shifted his gaze outside the window.
Thinking the man preferred to stay quiet, Edward didn’t ask him anything further. He returned to his seat, took a quick peek at the bus itinerary, then continued on his way. Because of the old man, he kept a slower speed than usual that day, which the other passengers were quick to observe and express their displeasure of.
“Hello! Could you please drive faster! I’ll be late for my meeting!” a woman in the rear seat screamed.
“Sorry, ma’am,” Edward replied. “We have an elderly man with us. I need to be a little careful. Don’t worry, you’ll make it on time.”
“And what about the rest of us?” another man yelled. “We paid for our rides too, and we deserve to get to our destinations on time! Who cares about that old man?”
“Sir, could you kindly keep your voice down?” Edward replied, hiding his anger towards his rude passengers. “If you keep interrupting me like that, I can’t drive properly.”
“Well, I’m not the distraction,” the man retorted. “It’s all because of that old dude! Tell him to get off right now! We don’t want him here!”
“But sir—” Before Edward could say anything, almost all passengers started protesting against the old man. “Yes! Get him out of here! Otherwise, we’ll be writing a complaint to your management!”
Meanwhile, Edward took a peek at the old man through the mirror and noticed him raising his hand as if trying to convey something. His face seemed pale, and he looked agitated. Edward yelled at everyone on the bus to keep quiet so he could hear him. However, as the vehicle grew silent, the old guy sank to the ground.
Edward stopped the bus and dashed over to the man. He tried to stir him up, but the older man’s hands and feet were as frigid as ice. The passengers became even more furious at this moment. “We asked you to throw him out of the bus! Now, look what happened!”
“I know, right! These authorities shouldn’t allow older people to travel alone in public transports!” yelled another. “Now, all of us will be late!”
“The least you guys can do is help him right now!” Edward glared at them. “Someone at least come and help me lift him!”
“What? Are you serious?” A woman complained. “Weren’t you driving the bus slowly so that this old guy was comfortable? Now look after him on your own; we don’t care!”
Tired of hearing their complaints, Edward finally lifted the man himself and secured him on the seat. Then he raced to his seat and hastily checked for a route to the nearest hospital. Fortunately, it was only 5 minutes away.
Edward made a U-turn and proceeded to the hospital, angering the passengers even more. “Are you serious??? I will make sure you get fired!” cried one.
“Me too!” another added. “Bus drivers like you have forgotten your real place. After all, you’re just a daily wage worker! They’ll easily find a replacement for you!”
Edward refused to listen to them. He just drove as fast as the ambulances did during emergencies, and managed to make it to the hospital in just two minutes. Upon arrival, he summoned an orderly who transported the elderly gentleman to the ICU.
Edward left his number and left whatever money he had at the hospital’s reception desk to take care of the old man’s needs before returning to the bus to drop off the other passengers.
That evening, as he was driving back to the hospital after his shift to check on the old man, he received a phone call informing him that the patient had gained consciousness.
When Edward finally met him, the man couldn’t stop thanking him. “Thank you for helping me. If you hadn’t brought me here on time, I might have died.”
“That’s alright, sir,” Edward said. “I’m glad I was able to help you.”
At this point, a doctor entered the room. “Are you Mr. Edward Thomas, the one who brought Mr. Carter here this morning?”
“Yes, doctor,” Edward answered. “Is he fine now, though? And when can he be discharged?”
“He suffered a stroke, Mr. Thomas, and if you hadn’t have brought him here, we don’t know what would’ve happened. But it’s all good now, don’t worry. Thanks for bringing him here on time!”
“You’re right, doctor,” Mr. Carter added. “Edward is a real hero to me! I wonder how I couldl repay this young man’s generosity.”
“Oh, Mr. Carter, you’re embarrassing me. This was the least I could do to help you! Please take care. I’ll be taking leave now as I have to be up for work early.”
Edward had a hard time at work the next day because his enraged passengers had filed a complaint against him. His supervisor issued an ultimatum, stating that if something similar happened again, he would be fired.
When Edward went to see Mr. Carter at the hospital that day, Mr. Carter noticed he was upset and offered him a job after learning the reason.
“You see, Edward,” the man explained, “I operate a large food store. A person who owns such a facility never stops needing aid in the business, so would you be interested in assisting me there? I’m not pressuring you, but please let me know what you think.”
“Oh, sir, I’d be delighted to!” Edward said, gladly accepting the offer. And that’s exactly how he ended up working at Mr. Carter’s store, which he inherited after Mr. Carter died of a heart attack last year.
What can we learn from this story?
- Kindness begets kindness. Edward saved Mr. Carter’s life, and his kindness was rewarded with a job.
- Not all heroes wear capes. The way Edward went against all his passengers and saved Mr. Carter’s life proves this.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a rich man who visited a huge grocery store in a homeless man’s disguise to determine his heir.
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