'It restored my faith in humanity': Samaritans scramble to help man with limited mobility catch his bus
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:21PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 5, 2019 6:56PM EST
Chris MacMillan must have thought he had a guardian angel on Monday. Maybe even two. Turns out he might have had a whole busload.
“What I witnessed… just restored my faith in humanity,” MacMillan tells CTV.
MacMillan, who uses a power-chair to get around because of a degenerative-disc disease, left his Russell Road apartment building around 4:30pm Monday, knowing he was late for the #46 OC Transpo bus bound for Billings Bridge,
“I saw that the light to cross Russell was already green and I could see the bus. I thought, ‘excellent I’m going to make it on time’, everything’s going to work out.”
MacMillan needed it to work out. That 4:30pm bus was the last one he could take to make it to his doctor’s office before closing time. He desperately needed his daily dose of medication for pain control.
As MacMillan headed for the stop, he saw the bus arrive, and passengers getting on and off, he waved to catch their attention but nobody noticed. That’s when he witnessed the first act of kindness. A man at the intersection driving a blue Honda, noticed his plight,
“He’s yelling at me and he says ‘hey buddy, buddy, are you waiting for that bus?’ and I ignored him all together.
MacMillan then noticed a “blue flash” the Honda turned around, sped away to track down the bus.
“He took off down Southvale and chased down the bus,” MacMillan says holding back tears, “he came back about three minutes later and he says ‘buddy, buddy, I stopped the bus and he’s waiting for you down the street, go-get-em’.”
As MacMillan headed down the sidewalk to catch the waiting bus, he ran into another obstacle and another act of kindness. A tree-cutting crew, led by Neal Watts with Up There Tree Care was clearing trees along the sidewalk,
“I saw he was motivated,” Watts smiles, “trying to catch that bus.”
So Watts called down to his partner to quickly clear the brush so MacMillan could get to the bus.
When MacMillan arrived he was faced with another act of kindness.
“I get to the bus, the ramps down,” MacMillan recalls, “the driver’s there and he goes ‘it’s ok son, everything’s okay, we got you’.”
MacMillan thought the passengers would be angry with him for the delay. How he was wrong. It led to a moment he will never forget, the bus, full of about 30 passengers cheered when he wheeled inside.
“I hadn’t seen this kind of humanity and kindness and caring for each other in a long time. It fills my heart with gratitude.”
MacMillan hopes the driver of that Honda will come forward, so that he can thank him. He’s contacted OC Transpo to encourage the transit company to recognize the bus driver and he had a chance to thank the tree-cutting crew.
“It’s just a beautiful story,” MacMillan says, “We have some great people who live here.”