Most people unthinkingly hop on and off an escalator in a rush to get to their destination. For the elderly, however, an escalator presents a dangerous and often terrifying situation.
One grandmother, named Carma Greathouse, faced just this scenario while shopping with her family in 2016. Her granddaughter, Leah Kerr, carried the shopping bags and escorted her two young children down the escalator.
Left to herself, Greathouse was too unsure of her footing to take the first step onto the escalator. Moments passed as she tried again and again, still too terrified to get on.
She remained at the top, alone. Her granddaughter, now at the bottom, recalled watching other shoppers push past her, clearly annoyed by the obstacle in their path.
“I felt horrible as I watched her try again and again to get her footing right. People walked around her, pushed her or asked her to step to the side,” Kerr wrote online in a post that has now gone viral.
Kerr watched helplessly as her grandmother struggled far above her. That’s when one young man took action when others did not.
Alujwyon Williams, 19, saw the elderly woman was in trouble. Instead of pushing past her like countless other shoppers, Williams escorted her down the escalator, holding her hand the entire time.
“He says take hold of my hand, and I says I sure will, and he says now take a step when I take a step. So I did and I got on and he held my hand all the way down the elevator. He was a very nice man,” Greathouse recalled.
Kerr snapped a photo of the touching moment and shared it on Facebook. In her post, she lauded the unknown man, writing, “Not only was he not ashamed to help her but held her hand the entire way down and helped her off. Thank you so so much to him.”
Her grandmother commented, “I am the Grandma you helped young man. I have polymyalgia and I am afraid I will fall. THANK YOU, SIR FOR HELPING ME…Go far in your life and God Bless You! You are my hero.”
After going viral, the post reached the young man who assisted Greathouse. Upon reading of her gratitude, Williams responded by writing, “No problem and I’m happy to be such an impact on you and your family.” Proving that kindness is inherent to his nature, he added, “I was just being me.”
For his part, Williams expressed surprise that a simple act of kindness resulted in so much acknowledgment. “I didn’t think me being myself would get so much recognition,” he said. “Thank you all for that and it really was my pleasure. I’m happy to be part of a touching story.”