It’s easy to get caught up in our own needs without thinking of other people, especially when we’re caught up in our own problems. Still, whenever we can step out of our own perspective and help others, amazing things can happen. Consider the story of John Thuo, a homeless boy living in Nairobi, Kenya whose life changed after a chance encounter with an older woman.
Just like any other day, Thuo woke up and started approaching cars stopped in traffic to ask for money. In the process, he came upon a woman named Gladys Kamande. Unbeknownst to Thuo, 32-year-old Kamande was struggling with some serious issues of her own. As a result of collapsed lungs, Kamande needed to rely on machines to breathe normally, carrying an oxygen concentrator, a generator and oxygen cylinders with her at all times. As if that wasn’t enough, Kamande had been through 12 surgeries for her medical issues, one of which damaged her optical nerve rendering her blind.
Upon asking her for money, Thuo asked what all the machinery was for and heard her whole story. After she told him everything, Thuo was moved to tears, crying even harder after realizing he couldn’t help her.
Instead, Thuo prayed with the woman and gave her all the money he had in his pockets to help her get the treatment she needed. In the process, an onlooker saw the exchange between Thuo and Kamande and took a picture, posting it to Facebook.
As always, it’s hard to underestimate the power of the internet. As the story went viral, online strangers were able to raise more than three million Kenyan shillings in only four days for Kamande’s surgeries (which is the equivalent of approximately $29,000). While that alone would be enough to make the story remarkable, Kamande was also able to help Thuo as a result as well—though you’ll have to read the whole story for yourself to find out how.
The bond between Thuo and Kamande is an inspiration to us all and shows again just how powerful and effective empathy can be. When we open up to others and show compassion regardless of the problems we’re going through, incredible things can happen. In this case, two people who felt hopeless were able to save one another through a moment of connection—with a little help from the internet, of course. Check out the entire heartwarming story here.
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