Trust is the last thing that comes to mind when one is frantic and in a panic.
This was evident when Kelly Malan from Cape Town faced a life and death situation involving her 15-month-old baby girl on September 2.
Malan, 35, was en-route to her family doctor after she had been informed by her daughter’s teacher that she had become sick twice at the school on that day.
In a lengthy post on her Facebook page, Malan shared that while she was on the way to the doctor, her daughter had started choking while sitting in her car seat.
This resulted in her pulling over to the side of busy Sandown Road to help her.
“I pulled over as best I could, got Dani [her daughter] out of her car seat, turned her half over to get her to breathe properly again. I considered driving with Dani on my lap to the hospital as she was choking, as I could not leave her in her car seat to possibly choke to death.”
It was at this point that Malan realised she needed help and tried flagging down cars. She said some just drove past until a Good Samaritan by the name of Ben Mans, who was driving a bakkie, eventually stopped.
“This guy [Ben] stops, and I asked if he could take me to the hospital. He says no problem get in and leave your car on the pavement.”
Malan said trust was the last thing on her mind at that point and her priority was to get her sick child to the hospital.
She added Mans then offered to transport her to Blaauwberg Hospital.
Malan said when they arrived at the hospital he offered to organise someone to fetch her car. Without any hesitation, she gave him the keys. She said as an assurance, Mans, who is a carpenter and runs a carpentry design company, gave her his business card.
“Please note, I have never met nor seen this guy in my life. I thought, he can either steal my car or bring it to me. Whatever! Need to sort my daughter out,” she said.
‘Small act makes difference‘
To her surprise, Mans came back and handed the car keys to her.
Speaking to News24 on Monday, Mans, 40, said he had been on his way to a friend’s place when he came across a woman who was holding a baby and crying for help. He added when he saw her, he immediately offered his assistance.
“The first thing I said to her was: ‘Listen I know you do not know me, I am a stranger to you. I have a close friend that stays in the area and if you are willing and if you trust me, we can come and fetch your vehicle for you’. Without any hesitation she gave me her keys.”
He said as they rushed to the hospital, the baby was calm as her mom held her.
Mans added he was glad he was able to help Malan.
“I think we really live in a time, especially in the last couple of months, so much drama has been happening in our country and I think it’s a small act like this that really makes a difference.”
Malan told News24 the baby was now in good health, but she was still in shock, saying she felt blessed on that day.
“I feel like he literally saved my daughter’s life. He has followed up and asked how we are doing, he is really a good guy,” she said.
Hundreds of Malan’s friends on Facebook lauded Mans’ act of kindness, with some saying he was “Gods angel” sent to her on that day.