Uber driver takes new mom on shopping spree to cheer her up after finding out her baby is in the hospital
Multitasking is tough, especially for a new mom who has a baby in the hospital with a life-threatening condition. But thanks to the kindness of an Uber driver, this mom was able to tackle even the most daunting tasks.
Nikki Ihus was having quite the day. She traveled to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fl. all the way from Kansas City. Ihus needed to go there for her son, John Henry.
Ihus learned that her son suffered from a rare birth defect. “My son has congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Which is a hole in the diaphragm that allowed the organs in his stomach to move up into his chest.” Said Nikki.
The defect is rare, and only affects about 1 in every 4,000 babies, according to the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
She brought John to the St. Petersburg hospital because of their high survival rate for treating babies with CDH, she told WFTS.
But the long trip meant the two were far from home, and far from their belongings, so Ihus ordered an Uber last week with the plans of buying clothes for her baby while he’s in the hospital.
That’s when Ihus met her Uber driver, Belinda Smith.
Ihus and Smith talked as they made their way to the destination, the consignment shop Rhea Lana’s.
Nikki began telling her tale of woe to Belinda. “She told me her story. She was in tears a couple times and I really felt for her.” Said Belinda.
“She needed to talk and I was there to listen,” Smith said. “People don’t listen anymore. I believe people get in my car for a reason other than a ride,” she added.
When they arrived, the two said goodbye, the same way millions of typical Uber rides have ended.
But this time, something was different — Smith couldn’t help but reflect on what Ihus was going through with a sick child in the hospital. She was a mother, too.
“She touched my heart,” Smith told WFTS. “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.’”
Her kindness immediately touched Ihus, who said she had been feeling lonely and homesick.
“I hopped in the car and I think she could tell I wasn’t having the best day,” Ihus recalled to the news station.
After Ihus finished her shopping, Smith had one more surprise for her — she was going to buy all 30 items of baby clothes Ihus picked out.
“I cried a lot,” Ihus said of the special moment.
The two have kept in touch, Ihus told WFTS, and Smith even visited John Henry in the hospital the week after her kind gesture.
“For this stranger to go completely out of her way — stop what she was doing and stop making money — to come be with me for a couple of hours while we shopped together, that was just incredible,” Ihus told WKRG. “She is my hero.”
Belinda’s generosity was the high point in a very low day for a new mother with a sick child. Even the littlest act of kindness can have massive repercussions.
To help with John Henry’s medical costs, visit Nikki’s GoFundMe page. It has raised $3,300 of its $10,000 goal as of last Friday afternoon.