Here’s a story that will tug on your heartstrings.
It was an act of kindness that Casey lee Martin never thought would get the attention it did.
Sunday morning, Martin was driving her car in front of a Halifax Transit bus. She noticed a woman and two children in her rear view mirror running for the bus, which closed its doors and drove away before they could make it.
“We were stopped at a red light, I didn’t see any safety hazard why the bus couldn’t stop and wait a few extra seconds, but instead, they closed the door and pulled up to the red light,” explained Martin.
Being a mother herself, Martin immediately felt sympathy for the woman and offered to help.
“At one point, I was a mom with a small child and had to take the bus, so, I really felt for her,” said Martin. “So, I turned around up at the next parking lot and swung back to see if they wanted a drive.”
The woman and two children gladly accepted her offer, and told Martin they were heading to the hospital.
“We chatted back and forth and that’s when she told me who she was, and that the children in the back weren’t her children,” said Martin. “That she had lost her children in a fire 5 months ago, and they were going to visit her husband who was badly burned.”
The woman Martin decided to give a helping hand to was Kawthar Barho, the mother of 7 children who tragically lost their lives in a Halifax house fire on February 19.
“When I realized who she was, I mean, everybody throughout Canada and Nova Scotia recognizes that name. It’s a household name and I just couldn’t believe it was her sitting in my car,” said Martin.
Barho and her husband, Ebraheim, fled from war torn Syria, arriving in Canada in 2017 as refugees seeking a better life for their family.
The tragedy made international headlines, with support for the family pouring in from all over the world.
More than 2,000 people attended the children’s funeral service at a waterfront hall, many of them never meeting the family before.
A GoFundMe campaign that was started for the family has raised about $725,000.
After dropping Barho and the 2 children off at the hospital, Martin decided to share her experience on Facebook. The post immediately went viral, with over 3,000 reactions, and over 2,000 shares in just 4 hours.
“I was blown away. I had to turn the notifications off on my phone because it just keeps dinging, but there seems to be a lot of nice comments,” said Martin.
Martin says she is surprised by the attention the post received, but she hopes it will lead to bus drivers thinking twice before they leave a passenger behind.
“I did call Metro Transit to report it. They said its policy and I can appreciate that,” explained Martin. “But when there isn’t a safety hazard and you’re parked at a red light, I think that empathy should trump policy.”
Ebraheim Barho remains in hospital. Sources close to the family say his condition is improving.