This week, I had a magical interaction with someone truly special…
I hit the gym on Monday morning, and after grabbing a locker and pulling my kit out of my gym bag, I realised I had forgotten my water bottle.
So I grabbed my purse to run downstairs to the cafe to grab a water bottle.
As I just started to descend the stairs I noticed a young disabled man in his 30’s struggling with his walking stick.
Three other people had just walked down past him without a glance.
I asked him “would you like some help down the stairs?”
His energy was auric. His polite smile 😃 truly engaging. He politely declined saying he was “OK. I’m just getting used to my new ankle brace.”
We got chatting. And he shared his story of how he had been a passenger in a severe car accident north of WA a few years back. During the incident he was in a coma for 13 days, and his body took a beating.
But this man’s heart ❤️ and attitude inspired me so much. And truly he lifted my spirits from processing some tough feelings I’ve been working through.
I shared with him that I’m a former Paramedic. To which he opened up to telling me a lot more of the graphic accident details (which were relayed to him later after the accident because he was out cold during it).
He shared how his friend who was driving copped it worse and is paralysed, in a wheel chair for life, and how much of a strain their relationship has been under because of many reasons related to the accident.
His story is truly remarkable, captivating and inspiring. It’s deep insight to resilience, grit and compassion.
I teared up on those stairs, swallowing back tears but also in total admiration of this man at the same time.
We slowly descended the stairs as I got to know more about him. He’s a dad to two kids and the best news yet, he’s getting married to his fiancé in a few months. When he spoke of her, I saw his eyes sparkle ✨
I encouraged him “you seriously have to write your story as a book, maybe speak, to inspire others. You’re an incredible inspiration!”
He looked lit by the idea, but cautious and said “since the accident I’ve had to learn to read, write, walk and well… learn everything again. I really struggle to write and read.”
I encouraged him more. “You just shared your incredible story with me by talking to me. There are simple ways to share your story, and even write a book with dictation. You can use a voice recorder on your phone and transcribe it, then outsource it to someone to edit it. You can also use Google Docs and dictate with the audio option. Again, get someone else to clean it up and read it back to you. You really need to share your story. It’s incredible.”
He smiled so big and said “I’m so grateful for your encouragement!”
I said, “well I’m so deeply appreciative for learning about you and your story. You’ve inspired me and made my day!”
He leaned forward and asked for a hug. I gave this guy the biggest hug for the longest time.
We both headed to the cafe. Me for my water. Him for his take-away coffee, which I jumped ahead and paid for it as a gift.
We parted ways with nothing other than an exchange of first names.
But that man touched my heart and soul that day (and all week). And l think I put a little extra fire 🔥 in his steps too.
His name is Sanford.
So if you read this man’s story one day or hear him speak, celebrate him big time!
And remember how the small acts of kindness of at least offering to help someone when they are struggling, can create sparks of connection that touch something deep in the heart and soul of humanity, because of how you can create a small but significant shift to someone else’s life.
Would you love to hear more about Sanford's story? Let me know either in the comments below, or comment on the original facebook post here