POLITICS

Barrie, Ont., mother grateful after strangers stop her car from being towed

07/22/2015 03:44 EDT | Updated 07/22/2016 05:59 EDT
BARRIE, Ont. - The last thing on Kaylee Goemans's mind when she rushed her six-week-old son to the emergency room was the parking meter counting down beside her black Honda.

The Barrie, Ont. mother thought she would only be at Royal Victoria Hospital for a short visit on July 13. But three hours ticked by before a doctor came, and Goemans had only paid for four hours of parking.

She fired off a quick post to a Facebook group for local mothers, asking if they knew whether her car would get ticketed or towed. Besides the answer, her post garnered more than 100 comments from women offering to stop by the parking meter to top it up.

"I'm not far. I can go put change in it for you in about an hour on my way back home if you are still there," Elisha LeeAnn wrote.

"I live not too far from the hospital. Will head over now and top up the meter for you!" Rachel Banks added.

Goemans spent nearly nine hours at the hospital, but by the time her mother picked up the car that evening, there were five hours left on the meter and her Facebook feed was "blowing up" with messages and comments wishing her and her son well.

"I was completely overwhelmed. I was completely grateful," she said. "It made a very tough and stressful situation a lot easier for me. It made me able to focus on my son's needs rather than having to worry about my car being towed."

Goemans's son Dominic was diagnosed with intussusception, a disorder in which a part of the intestine folds into another, causing severe abdominal pain. Dominic has been ill since the beginning of the month, Goemans said, and his condition hasn't yet improved.

But the 27-year-old mother said the group's generosity has kept on coming, with hundreds of mothers asking for updates on Dominic's condition and offering parking passes for Goemans to use on her next trip to hospital.

Goemans said she's inspired to return the favour to the women who helped her, and has promised to keep in touch and send photos of her son.

"Especially in today's world, it's so hard to find people doing nice things for each other," she said.

— By Michelle Mark in Toronto.