‘Thank you so much’: An emotional reunion between an Ottawa man and his guardian angels
Chris MacMillan couldn’t be more grateful.
“It’s Christmas day to me,” Chris says smiling ear to ear from outside his Russell Road apartment building, “this is the biggest gift I could get in life.”
That gift, a reunion with perfect strangers.
To appreciate the story you need to know the background. MacMillan reached out to CTV Monday night to say hours earlier he was the target of an incredible random act of kindness. It wasn’t breaking news he admitted, but it was heartwarming, and he needed help to say thank you.
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“It just restored my faith in humanity.”
Monday afternoon, MacMillan arrived moments late for his bus, the #46 bound for Billings Bridge, when he watched it pull away from the curb without him. He felt a sense of dread, he says, as he missed the last bus in time to make it to his doctor’s before it closed. MacMillan uses a power-chair. He was desperate for a prescription for pain medication.
That’s when he witnessed the first act of kindness. A man driving a blue car, he thought was a Honda, noticed MacMillan’s plight, and took off towards the bus, in a bid to alert the bus driver. It worked. As he powered in his chair down the sidewalk towards the idling bus, another obstacle, the sidewalk was covered with tree stumps and branches. Tree-clearing crews noticed MacMillan’s rush, so they cleared a path. When MacMillan finally reached the bus, he wondered if he would get an earful from the waiting driver, and frustrated passengers aboard. How wrong he was. When he got on, the driver couldn’t have been more accommodating, asking if there was anything he could do. . In fact, the whole bus, burst into applause. MacMillan was overwhelmed. All he wanted was to meet and thank the driver of that blue car.
On Wednesday afternoon, he got the chance in an emotional reunion.
The driver of that blue car, turns out it was a Toyota, is David Brousseau-Lambert, a man who lives in the area, he drives by that stop every day.
“You looked very sad,” Brousseau-Lambert told MacMillan in their meeting, “I said okay, I’m going to chase down that bus.”
“I managed to get to the next bus stop, I pulled out in front of him and I looked like a crazy person honking,” Brousseau-Lambert laughed.
The OC Transpo driver behind the wheel was Mohammed Omer.
“The passengers were cheering him on, everybody was happy,” Omer says of the moment MacMillan got on the bus.
While MacMillan calls the men his heroes, Brousseau-Lambert and Omer agree it was a simple show of kindness one that they’d repeat again.
“It shouldn’t be something that’s praised,” Brousseau-Lambert says, “everybody should be doing this.”
“For me it’s a no brainer,” Omer adds, “I told him if I have a chance I’d do it a million times.”