Stranger Gives Doctor Ride to Hospital To Perform Heart Surgery
Dr. Bill Daily was rushing to Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois, on Friday evening to perform heart surgery. Well, he was until his car hit a pothole and succumbed to a flat tire, literally stopping him in his tracks.
The situation was made worse by him being in the middle of East St. Louis, a city with a bad reputation and one of the highest murder rates in the country. But Daily didn’t find any trouble in East St. Louis; all he found was people willing to help him get to where he needed to go.
Daily attempted to refill his tire at a gas station, but the tire refused to hold air. That’s when he met East St. Louis resident Mike Austin (pictured), who was working at the gas station at the time as a construction worker and noticed the look of distress on Daily’s face.
Austin offered to drive Daily to the hospital so he could perform the surgery. “I told him everything would be OK,” Austin recalls. “Then I said, ‘We will get you there, Doc.'”
True to his word, Austin got Daily to the hospital in time to perform the surgery. “I was happy to help him help someone else,” Austin says.
Following the surgery, which was successful, Daily returned to the gas station where he left his car. Right before it was time to close up for the night, the station’s owner, Mohanad Nasser, helped Daily change his tire.
“God created the world and us to help one another. We wish the best for each other,” said Nasser, a Palestinian immigrant and father of two, who says he appreciates the important work doctors do.
Daily offered both Austin and Nasser payment for their help, but both declined, saying they were happy to help a person in need.
“East St. Louis gets a bad ticket, but we look out for our neighbors,” Austin said. “That’s all I was doing.”
Nasser echoed that sentiment. “I have been here seven years and never had any problems,” he said. “Treat people with respect and they will do the same.”
Daily is excited to share his story with others as an example of the humanity people are willing to show one another.
“There was no fear. There was no trouble. I only found people who wanted to help and did it with such grace,” Daily says. “You don’t know where you will find these unexpected kindnesses.”