An Irish woman in Belfast was planning on taking the bus to visit her mom in an assisted living facility. She had a pre-scheduled 30 minute times slot because of COVID restrictions but was running late so she pleaded with the bus driver to help her see her mother.
Jacqueline Mason, the woman in question, tearfully asked the bus driver to get her close to the home, and the bus driver, Alex “Alec” Bailey, understood her frustration.
Bailey told Sky News “I started crying, and I said, ‘I’m not too sure if I’m on the right bus.’” He felt for the woman and decided to help her out.
Speaking with the BBC, he said, “When the woman said to me she hadn’t seen her mum in a long time, it just hit my heart. A lot of people have suffered this year and you’ve seen on the news, people not able to see their mother or their father in the homes and it just struck a chord with me… I just said to myself, I have to get this woman as close as I can to that home.”
He then turned to the other passengers on his bus and asked them if it was okay that he would be going off route. All of them gave him their approval and began his mission of getting this woman to the retirement home.
Bailey got her to the home on time for her visitation slot and because local news reporters were outside of the home covering the coronavirus vaccination rollout being given out to the residents of the nursing home.
The reporters interviewed Bailey and the story made it to a slot on the evening news. Once people saw it on the evening news, it later migrated to social media and gained traction there.
Bailey explains that it was all worth it, telling the BBC, “The smile and the joy on her face just said it all and I was just so pleased. It was just a nice, magical moment. It was just the right thing to do.”
Lead image: screenshot/BBC.