A woman has been overwhelmed by the kindness of ordinary Australians after a stranger gave her elderly mother a packet of antibacterial wipes straight from her trolley because she ‘needed them more’.
Sue Martin’s mother 80-year-old Jean (pictured) is still ‘fiercely independent’
Sue Martin, 53, lives in Colloroy in north Sydney, just under 20 minutes drive from her 80-year-old mother Jean’s apartment in an independent living facility in Bayview.
After living with chronic heart disease for years, Jean underwent open heart surgery in September 2019, an operation which triggered a life-threatening bout of pneumonia.
Her medical history places her in the highest risk category for contracting COVID-19.
Jean was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year but her ‘fiercely independent’ and determined nature has made it difficult for her to adjust to life with the degenerative condition.
True to form, Jean defied her daughter’s wishes to take a short bus ride to Mona Vale Woolworths on Thursday in search of disinfectant wipes which have been almost impossible to find since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis in January.
Jean went to Woolworths in search of antibacterial wipes which have been almost impossible to get in Australia since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis in January (pictured, elderly shoppers wait for Woolworths in Balmain, Sydney to open for its dedicated ‘seniors hour’ on Tuesday, March 17)
Ms Martin told Daily Mail Australia she was furious with her strong willed mother when she discovered she was out pottering around the supermarket.
‘I couldn’t believe she was out and about. Luckily I was out getting a coffee in Mona Vale, so I went straight to Woolies to pick her up,’ she said.
When she arrived, Jean told her daughter that the shop was completely sold out of antibacterial wipes, but a woman overheard Woolies staff telling Jean there was none left.
‘She told me the woman reached into her trolley, handed a pack and said here, you need these more than me.’
Ms Martin shared a post in a north Sydney community group on Facebook, thanking the shopper for her selfless, generous gesture during a time when many Australians – especially the elderly – are ‘doing it tough’.
Sue (left, with her mother Jean, right) was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, all eager to help during a time when many Australians are ‘doing it tough’
She was inundated with offers of support from other strangers keen to help her mother just minutes after she posted her message of thanks.
‘I’ve had probably 10 ladies message me privately saying “I live around the area, if your mother needs help I can do her grocery shopping or whatever she needs”,’ she said.
One woman from the Mona Vale area said she would be happy to deliver shopping to Jean or any elderly person in need of assistance.
Ms Martin was inundated with offers of support (like this one) from other strangers keen to help her mother just minutes after she posted her message of thanks
Ms Martin said it was lovely to see everyone doing good for each other during these frightening and uncertain times
Others encouraged Ms Martin to simply ‘shout out’ whenever her mother needed anything.
‘Your mum needs to be safe and sound inside, not out at supermarkets. Please private message if we can do anything at all,’ said one woman.
A young Woolworths worker even messaged Ms Martin to say she would gather whatever her mother needed and leave it in a bag behind the service desk once a week to save her going around the busy shop.
‘Everyone is trying to do their best for everyone, it’s lovely to see,’ Ms Martin said.