One chance encounter changed everything.

One moment, one single action, has the potential to change a life.

Every day, while children around the world ate breakfast and went to school, little John Thuo of Nairobi, Kenya roamed the streets, begging for survival. Orphaned and homeless, he did what he had to do just to get by.

Meanwhile, 32-year-old Gladys Kamande was in a different fight for survival.

Suffering from collapsed lungs, Gladys relied on machines to breathe, carrying an oxygen concentrator, a generator, and oxygen cylinders with her at all times.

As if that wasn’t enough, she had undergone 12 surgeries for her medical issues, one of which damaged her optical nerve rendering her blind in one eye.

How a Chance Encounter Changed the Direction of Both Their Lives

homeless boy gives woman money

One day, while approaching cars and begging for money, John happened upon Gladys. Intrigued by all of her medical equipment he asked her what it was for. Her story moved him to tears.

Sobbing, he did the only thing he could think of to do. In an unbelievable act of compassion, he reached into his pocket and gave her what little money he had.

Despite having nothing himself, this little boy gave her everything.

Because as it turns out, just when you think you’re at rock bottom, someone else is worse off than you.

John’s act of kindness didn’t go unnoticed. A passerby, Njogu Wa Njoroge, witnessed the heartwrenching exchange and captured the moment on film.

A Photograph Goes Viral

woman wearing red clothes

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one was worth approximately $80,000.

Njogu tracked down John and Gladys and shared their story alongside the photo on Facebook.

“I asked him why he decided to give the only money he had in his pocket,” Njogu wrote. “He told me he opted to give because even if he suffered the same, others would support him.”

Inspired by the boy’s selflessness, Njogu set up a fundraiser for Gladys.

The post went viral, taking social media by storm. Donations to pay for the woman’s medical bills flooded in, to the tune of $80,000. Thanks to one boy’s generosity and the ripple effect it produced, Gladys was able to receive the treatment she needed to get back to living a normal, healthy life.

From Homeless to Homebound

But what happened to John? At the request of Gladys, he was placed into a children’s home and left his life on the streets behind him.

But his story doesn’t end there. In an ending worthy of a Hollywood movie, John found his own happily ever after. He was adopted.

Despite his circumstances, John still managed to find a way to give something to someone who needed it. What makes this even more remarkable, however, is that John is only a little boy.

And yet, he did what most adults would not.

With one action driven by compassion, John changed not only Gladys’ life but his own as well. And showed the world the power that empathy, kindness, and compassion can wield.

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