On Friday I was walking along the road and next to me was a homeless looking man with one leg in a wheelchair which had two non existent front wheels, it was incredibly bashed up, however he’d manage to get it moving for a few wheel turns balancing on the back wheels before falling forward.
He slowly was getting around with difficulty and much discomfort. Not one person stopped to offer help, make a call or offer a push.
I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t be another passerby.
I offered to call someone, I didn’t have any money to give him (I was out walking my dog), he steadily replied ‘no, it’s alright love.’
It wasn’t alright. As I walked away I was really saddened and felt I had to find out more and do something.
I tried via friends and social media to see if I could find someone’s unused chair while dashing to work. I got home home late at night and saw him again, about 20 metres from where I had originally spoken to him. I asked a nearby man to come and talk to him with me, it was late at night and I feared he may be drunk and wanted some support.
A kind man walked to talk to him with me, whilst walking he said ‘maybe he wants to be like that.’ I quickly put him straight, regardless of who this man was, he at least deserved a little dignity and who can assume anyone wants to be in that situation.
He told me he’d been taken off the NHS list for a new chair but was hoping he might get a new leg. He said he didn’t know what to do, he was hopeless and had no one to help. He gave me an address to find him as I promised I’d try and find him a chair, he invited me to join him at church on Sunday and said we were kind for offering help but he obviously expected nothing.
I spent a whole day calling hospitals and every charity I could think of. Not one could help and the general consensus from them all was, if I wanted to help I had to buy one.
Last night a dear friend picked up a second hand chair found on Gumtree and we went to the given address with his new wheels.
This man is much younger than one would think, he lost his leg during his heroin addiction and has now been clean a number of years. His chair has been broken for 3 weeks. One can only imagine the difficulty of his day-to-day life.
He was so shocked and so happy to see us and couldn’t believe I had stuck by my word. I’m not going to lie, It made me feel great! He might not remember me, he might be a bit drunk, but at least now he has his dignity and maybe, just maybe, this act will inspire him in some sort of way.
If you ever pass some one by who truly needs help, I beg you to do something if you can, we are incredibly lucky and trust me you will feel wonderful. Xx