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Yellow taxi cab driving on a city street during hard rainfall | Source: Flickr/wka (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Yellow taxi cab driving on a city street during hard rainfall | Source: Flickr/wka (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cab Driver Kicks out Woman Whose Water Broke, Gets Letter from Birth Center Later — Story of the Day

Caitlin Farley
Jun 25, 2024
08:17 A.M.

Taxi driver Patrick is a widower who struggles to make ends meet after his youngest son is diagnosed with leukemia. When he gets an opportunity to help a woman in labor, he makes a decision he regrets.

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Patrick sank into a chair at the kitchen table. He'd just got off the phone with his son's hematologist-oncologist and felt like the world was ending.

"Your son needs additional treatment," the doctor had said. Considering the treatment's cost, he might as well have said Mikey needed the moon. Patrick's security guard salary wasn't enough to cover Mikey's chemotherapy and the family's basic needs.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Dad, will you color with me?" Mikey entered the kitchen with pages from a coloring book and crayons in his hands. He paused when he saw Patrick's face. "Are you okay, Dad? You're crying."

Patrick wiped his tears and forced himself to smile. "I got pepper in my eye while making dinner, that's all."

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"Okay." Mikey grinned and set his coloring book on the kitchen table. "You color the dragon, and I'm going to do the daffodils."

Patrick took the crayon Mikey offered him. The blood-red color prompted a fresh surge of despair. He wished Mikey's leukemia was something he could pull from the child and beat with his fists. He wished his son didn't have to endure this suffering.

"Come on, Dad!" Mikey nudged him with his elbow.

A few days later, Patrick was hired to drive a cab part-time. He would be on probation initially, but he was thrilled. This was precisely what he needed for Mikey's treatment.

"Here's the list of things you need to do." Patrick spoke to his two eldest children, Stacey and Vincent, as he placed the list on the fridge. "You can text me if you need to, but don't call unless it's an emergency, okay?"

Stacey and Vincent nodded. It wasn't their first time looking after their three younger siblings, but Mikey required extra care lately.

"Don't worry, Dad. We got this." Stacey showed him a thumbs up.

From the moment Patrick's shift started to the minute it ended, he roamed the streets, keeping an eye out for clients. Over the following days, he made sure all his colleagues and any acquaintances he had knew to call him if they needed a cab.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

At the end of the week, Patrick's boss called him into his office.

"Congratulations." The man offered Patrick his hand. "I'm impressed. You broke the company record in your first week, Patrick! I want you stay on, and I'm going to give you a bonus for your hard work."

Just when Patrick thought his family's future might be brighter than he thought, it seemed like life knocked him down a peg. He was driving a client to the airport when the cab started making a worrying sound.

Patrick drove the car to a mechanic and called his boss. His jaw dropped when he heard he'd have to pay for any repairs from his own pocket.

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"Typical," Patrick snarled as he shoved his phone back into his pocket. "You get a bonus one day, and thrown to the wolves the next."

He had to think of his own family first. He couldn't afford to help some random stranger when his own family was in need. Mikey's treatments had to be his priority at all times.

The mechanic approached him then and told him the cost to replace the worn-out parts causing problems with the car.

"What are these things made of, gold?" Patrick shook his head in disbelief. He was tempted to get in his cab and go somewhere else, but if he delayed getting the repairs, then he'd also be delayed returning to work, which meant less money for him.

"Just do what you need to do," Patrick snapped at the mechanic.

"There's no need to be rude, man."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Patrick glared at the man as he strode away. Of course, rudeness was needed when this bull was costing him so much! As if he didn't have a thousand better ways to spend that money.

After paying for the pricey repairs, Patrick was more desperate than before to make as much money as possible. Other drivers would spare a few minutes to eat together before shifts or waste time finishing conversations with chatty clients, but not Patrick.

As he waited for a client who'd arranged to be picked up, Patrick felt the minutes ticking by like ants crawling beneath his skin. Eventually, he couldn't take it anymore. He phoned the woman to ask where she was.

"I'm on my way, I just..." the woman broke off to let out a strange gasping sound.

"I'm having trouble...walking."

Patrick tapped his fingers against the steering wheel. Eventually, a heavily pregnant woman shuffled up to the car. Once she was inside, he noticed she seemed to be having trouble breathing. He glanced at her in the rearview mirror. She was sweaty and pale.

"You doing okay?" Patrick asked.

"I just need to rest." The woman sounded pained as she drew out the last word.

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Patrick was concerned, but he didn't have time for the problems of strangers. It was a rainy day, and the roads were slippery. It was also a good day for making money as nobody wanted to walk in the rain. But as Patrick approached an intersection, the woman said something that changed everything.

"I think my water just broke!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Patrick panicked. He immediately thought about how long it would take to clean his cab, how much that would cost him, and how much time it would waste.

"You've gotta get out." Patrick scanned his surroundings. "I'm sorry, lady, but I can't deal with this."

The woman cried out in pain. "Oh God, the baby's coming."

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Patrick pulled up to a bus stop. He half-carried the woman from the car and set her on the bench. When he turned away, she grabbed his sleeve.

"Please, don't leave me." She looked up at Patrick with fear in her eyes.

"Sorry, but I have to." Patrick snatched his sleeve from her grasp. "I'll call an ambulance to help you. I'm sure you'll be fine."

Patrick ran back to his car through the pouring rain. He called 911 for the pregnant woman, then sped away. While he drove, he told himself that there was nothing else he could do for the young woman.

He had to think of his own family first. He couldn't afford to help some random stranger when his own family was in need. Mikey's treatments had to be his priority at all times.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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The next day, Patrick had a day off to take Mikey to the hospital for treatment. He was exhausted since his phone had rung incessantly during the night. Every time, the caller was an unknown number. Patrick didn't answer any of the calls as he was sure it was a telemarketer.

When he returned home from a quick trip to the grocery store, Patrick was surprised to see a letter in his mailbox marked 'priority express.'

"What the..." Patrick turned the envelope over in his hands. He hoped it wasn't a bill, but he found something completely unexpected when he opened it.

The letter was from a local birthing center, requesting that he contact them immediately regarding Ms. Jenna Reid. Patrick didn't know anyone called Jenna. He tossed the letter on the kitchen table and unpacked the groceries.

When Patrick took Mikey to the hospital later, he recognized the birthing center that mailed him a block away.

"It's probably a mistake, but it can't do any harm to check it out."

Patrick returned to the center after delivering Mikey to the hospital. He went inside and gave his name to the woman at the main desk.

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"Thank heavens!" The woman set her tablet aside and pressed both hands to her chest. "We tried everything to get hold of you, Mr. Murphy!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Patrick stared open-mouthed as the woman told him they'd tried to call him multiple times to let him know this mysterious Jenna woman had complications during birth and had to be transferred to the hospital.

"She's in intensive care now," the woman concluded. "It's a real shame. All of this could've been avoided if she had gotten here in time. Your number was the last one she dialed on her phone, so, of course, we contacted you first but it would be great if we knew your relationship with the patient for our records."

"I know what it's like to be alone in this world, and it sucks when you don't have anyone to rely on."

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Suddenly, Patrick understood. His number on her phone, the late arrival at the center...Jenna had to be the pregnant woman whose water broke in his cab yesterday!

"Wasn't there anyone else you could call?" Patrick asked. "A husband, or parents?"

The woman frowned. "We don't have any emergency numbers on file for her."

Patrick walked away while the woman was still talking. Guilt churned in his belly, and his hands shook. He had to know what had happened to Jenna. He rushed back to the hospital and asked about Jenna in ICU.

"I'm sorry, but she's unconscious and isn't permitted visitors at this point," the nurse told him. "Are you family?"

"Uh...I'm a family friend," he lied. "Please, when can I see her?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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A few days later, Patrick sat beside Jenna's bed with his head in his hands. He couldn't bear to look at the young woman he'd kicked out of his cab or her baby, who the nurse had brought in while he visited. Instead, he listened to the beep of machines and wrestled with his guilt.

"I'm so sorry," he whispered. "I'd turn back time if I could. I never thought it would turn out like this..."

Patrick sighed. He was no stranger to suffering, having buried his wife five years ago and seen Mikey endure his leukemia treatments, but he now felt ashamed for the pain he'd inflicted on this young woman and her baby.

Patrick returned the next day and the day after that. He sat by Jenna's bedside in silence and watched the machines keeping her alive. The nurse brought Jenna's daughter into the room again during his next visit.

"It's good to see you back here." The nurse smiled at Patrick.

"It's tough on the family to keep visiting coma patients, but we believe it helps them. Quite a few patients have said they heard everything happening around them while they were comatose."

Patrick merely nodded. He peered over at the baby in her crib. She gurgled at him and waved her limbs in the air.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Patrick let the baby hold his finger in her tiny hands. She wriggled around in the crib non-stop.

"Aren't you a busy little lady," Patrick said.

"Where...you!"

Patrick turned and was amazed to see Jenna staring at him. She glanced at the crib, frowned, looked back at him, and screamed.

"No, it's okay." Patrick raised his hands. He laughed in relief. "Your baby is fine, and I'm not here to hurt you. I came to apologize."

The nurse burst into the room then. "What's going on here?"

"She's awake!" Patrick grinned and pointed at Jenna.

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Patrick had to leave as doctors and nurses rushed into the room to tend to Jenna. He collapsed into a chair outside. Tears of relief poured down his cheeks.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Patrick returned to visit Jenna the next day. He apologized for kicking her out of his cab and explained why he'd thought it was the only thing he could do.

"All I saw was the money," he said. "How much cleaning would cost, how much time it would take, and how much I'd lose while it was being done." He hung his head in shame.

"It's a sad state of affairs when you need to count the cost of helping a stranger, but that's what I did."

"I get it." Jenna sighed. "I know what it's like to be alone in this world, and it sucks when you don't have anyone to rely on."

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Patrick continued to visit Jenna, and they became like family. Her daughter even called him grandpa when she started speaking. Patrick raised enough money for Mikey's treatments, and he went into remission.

Many years later, when they all sat down together for Thanksgiving, Patrick looked around the table and felt his heart fill with joy. He couldn't believe how lucky he was to have such a fantastic group of people in his life.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

What can we learn from this story?

  • We are stronger together. It's easy to become self-involved and think only of our own problems, but it's important to remember that we all need to help each other in times of need.
  • You can't count the cost of kindness. It may cost you time and money to do a good deed, but to the person who needs you, that help is a priceless treasure.
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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who hears her young son's voice minutes after his life support is turned off.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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