Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Samaritan aids mum after seeing fear in little boy's face

When a woman saw the fear in a little boy's face as his pregnant mother collapsed onto the road, she knew she had to take action.

Mangere mother of four Jade Howard, 30, was stuck in traffic in South Auckland earlier this month when she saw a woman struggling to walk.

The woman's 6-year-old son was trying to help, but the mother stumbled on the berm and fell onto Massey Rd in Mangere.

"She was standing on the corner of Massey and Ewart Rd, I was about 10 cars back when I noticed her stumbling around.

"My initial thought was that she was intoxicated, but as I got closer to her I noticed her little one had her hand and was trying to hold her up - he just looked so worried for his mum. It really pulled on my heart strings."

She said when she stumbled and fell, people continued to ignore her.

"I saw cars driving round her, school kids walking past, women walking past - I knew they probably thought that she was drunk, like I did."

Ms Howard said she was considering giving the woman "an earful" about being drunk while she was with her child.

"But as I got closer to her and tried to talk to her she was unable to communicate back to me, so I asked the little boy if he knew what was wrong with mummy."

The boy told her his mum was diabetic and needed something sweet.

Ms Howard luckily had lollies in her handbag and gave a couple to the woman, who was able to get some words out after a while.

"She started apologising, saying she felt like a burden on me ... She didn't want a ride, she didn't want to put me out, but I insisted.

"I asked if she wanted to see a doctor but she said she had everything she needed at home."

She dropped the mother and son at their Papatoetoe home.

This week, after dwelling on the incident, she decided to share her thoughts on Facebook.

"While driving her home she said 'thank you so, so much. I was afraid for my life but no one would help me.' This broke my heart! I was holding back tears...

"It was so disturbing to witness people from my community, Mangere - where I grew up and my kids are growing up - just stroll/drive past a clearly struggling woman.

"Of all these people that we share parks and pools with, sit next to at the library, stand in queue with at the supermarket, sit next to at church, whose kids go to the same school as mine, not one took a second to see if she was ok and offer some help... Why?? This is so bewildering to me," Ms Howard wrote.

The post has gone viral - with 1 million views, 43,000 likes and 14,000 shares.

Ms Howard did not realise the woman was pregnant until she was later contacted by her family after posting about the incident on Facebook.

Noelle Luamanu, a cousin of the woman who was rescued, said she was ok now.
The mum-to-be had been walking her son home from school when the episode happened.

"She is diabetic but usually can control it," Ms Luamanu said.

- NZ Herald

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