Kind Strangers Keep Mom's Car From Getting Towed While She's in ER With Her Baby

Red Parking MeterThere's nothing scarier than having to rush to the emergency room with your ailing child, and the last thing any parent wants to deal with in a situation like that is having to feed the meter. But what do you do when you're stuck in the hopsital waiting room and your car is in danger of getting towed?

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That's the situation a Toronto mom recently found herself in when she had to take her 6-week-old son for the emergency room. Thinking that the whole process wouldn't take too long, she put enough money in the parking meter to last four hours. Now, if you've ever been to the emergency room with your child, you know that the process of getting seen and treated usually takes at least 10 times longer than you expected it to -- so naturally four hours turned out to be not nearly enough time. Luckily the mom realized this before her money ran out, and turned to a local moms' group on Facebook for help, asking if anyone knew whether she'd be more likely to get a ticket -- or if she would get towed (a much more expensive and inconvenient fate). After all, what else could she do -- leave her tiny infant's side to run outside with another handful of quarters?? 

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Now, if this were me, I would expect maybe a response or two along the lines of "Not sure, good luck" or "Maybe you should ask a nurse." But this mom hit the generosity jackpot, with a stream of helpful offers from strangers pouring in right away, like "I live not too far from the hospital. Will head over now and top up the meter for you!” and "I'm not far. I can go put change in it for you in about an hour on my way back home if you are still there." Nine hours later (!!) when the mom was finally ready to leave the hospital, there were five hours left on the meter and multiple messages on Facebook wishing her son well.

"I was completely overwhelmed. I was completely grateful," the mom said. "It made a very tough and stressful situation a lot easier for me. It made me able to focus on my son's needs rather than having to worry about my car being towed."

I just love this story so much. Not only is it a perfect illustration of the whole "it takes a village" theory, it's proof that kind, compassionate people really do exist. When our kids are sick or hurt, we're at our most vulnerable -- the only thing we can focus on is how to help them, and in order to do that we need help getting everything else done. Unfortunately, sometimes that help is really, really hard to find. I'm so glad that in this case, it wasn't!

 

Image via © Fotog/Tetra Images/Corbis

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