A man of faith, Portmore, St Catherine, taxi driver Orthward Thompson says he is dedicated to helping those in need whenever possible.
Thompson, who is also a pastor at the Faith Work Church of God in Gregory Park, told the Jamaica Observer that once he sees someone that he can help, he will not hesitate to do so, and he encourages other drivers to do the same.
“From mi see where I can help somebody, mi help them, and if mi can't, mi can't... I encourage them [taxi drivers] because I don't like when taxi driver diss passengers, mi mad fi that,” said the 61-year-old father of two.
Recalling two incidents in which he assisted those in need, Thompson said about two weeks ago he had to rush a female passenger to the Spanish Town Hospital when she passed out in his car, and a later incident when he ended up giving a random stranger a ride after the man had lost his wallet.
“Up to the other day a lady knock out in a my vehicle, like she sick out. So, mi have to rush her to the hospital. Mi a carry her from Portmore, but when mi reach yah so now (Spanish Town) some passengers a tell mi seh if mi nuh see the lady sick out. Mi a seh, a look like a sleep she did a sleep, but dem a tell mi seh she really sick,” Thompson stated.
He added that after the woman regained consciousness she started violently throwing up.
“Mi just carry her to the hospital and tell the porter that somebody in the car sick and dem fi take care of her,” Thompson continued.
He pointed out that the hospital was outside of his route, but he didn't insist on charging the woman.
Speaking on the other incident, Thompson told the Observer that, “Up to the other day, mi coming from Portmore and mi keep on watching this man, every time mi go and come back mi see him [walking]. So, mi seh to me self, that man yah look like him have no money fi take no taxi.
“Mi a come een empty with mi car, mi never have nobody and mi stop and ask him which part him a go, him seh Spanish Town. When him come inna di car him seh him lost him billfold and him prefer to foot it from Portmore, you know, to Spanish Town, to Angels [Estate].
“So, mi take him up and drop him a Spanish Town and also give him money fi pay him fare fi go a Angels. So, any little thing mi can do pon di road, I'll do it,“ added Thompson.
He said he does not allow fear of being scammed or hurt to enter his mind when he is lending a helping hand
“Mi no really worry still…Mi just nuh personally know him, but mi did feel like seh him need the help,” declared the preaching taxi driver.
Name: Orthward Thompson
Age: 61 years old
Length of career: 26 years
Route: Spanish Town to Waterford, Portmore in St Catherine