An Uber driver touched by one stranger’s story was compelled to buy baby clothes for her newborn child.
While traveling to and from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida, a mom, whose child was a patient at the hospital, got to talking with one of her Uber drivers. According to WFTS, Nikki Ihus, who is originally from Kansas City, told the driver that her son, John Henry, was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).
A congenital diaphragmatic hernia “occurs when the diaphragm muscle — the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen — fails to close during prenatal development, and the contents from the abdomen (stomach, intestines and/or liver) migrate into the chest through this hole,” according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The defect is rare and affects only 1 in every 2,500 live births. Ihus told reporters that she decided to give birth at the Florida hospital because it is known for its success in helping children born with CDH. About 90-percent of CDH patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s survive.
At one point during Ihus’ son’s stay, the mom needed to buy clothes for John Henry. So she called an Uber driver to take her to the nearest shopping center, and that’s when she met her driver, Belinda.
Ihus told WFTS that she thinks Belinda could tell she “wasn’t having the best day.” And Belinda said that being a mother herself, she wanted to lend an ear to a fellow mom who clearly needed to talk.
“People don’t listen anymore. I believe people get in my car for a reason other than a ride.”
So Ihus unloaded on Belinda, telling her that her mother had just left and her son had a setback, and she was “tired, scared, homesick, and lonely.” And once they arrived at her destination, instead of driving away, Belinda followed Ihus into the store.
“She touched my heart. So I parked the car and turned Uber off. I went in and I found her and said, ‘This is a day that should be fun for you. And you shouldn’t be alone. Let’s shop.'”
But Belinda didn’t just shop with Ihus so that she didn’t feel lonely, she also picked up the bill. According to WFTS, Belinda purchased about 30 pieces of clothing for John Henry. Some of the store employees “asked me how long I’ve known her. I said, ‘Oh, about 15 minutes.'”
Ihus said Belinda’s generosity caused her to “cry a lot.” Then about a week later, Belinda traveled back to Johns Hopkins, but this time as a friend.
Ihus wanted the once stranger to meet her baby boy, so he can see what true kindness looks like.
In an updated shared on Ihus’ CaringBridge page, she wrote that “John Henry’s respiratory rate is down to 14! He will only go as low as 10… that means he will most likely have his breathing tube out tomorrow! I will be able to hear his voice for the first time. Then after 24 hours, I will be able to hold him for the first time. My heart is about to explode I am so excited!!!”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.