GOOD Samaritan Betty Gurney has put a smile back on the face of the 92-year-old victim of callous thieves.
Betty, aged 86, was very touched by our front page story last week about the theft of Ron Bell’s mobility scooter, which robbed him of his independence.
She immediately rang the Guardian and offered Ron her own scooter, an offer which left Mr Bell and his family overwhelmed by Betty’s generosity.
Mr Bell is now getting used to his new scooter, and his granddaughter Jude Bowler expressed her gratitude and that of her grandfather for the unexpected donation.
“It was a phenomenal offer from Mrs Gurney, and it takes a special person to make such an offer to a complete stranger,” said Mrs Bowler, from Kingsmead.
“Ron was absolutely delighted with the scooter, and I cannot describe the difference it has made to him. He was very touched by the offer from Mrs Gurney.”
Mrs Gurney lives in Wessex Drive, and had not used her scooter for several years, opting instead for a walker.
“I have the Guardian delivered, and when I read the story I was in tears and could not believe what had happened,” she said.
“I thought it was a shame for my scooter to be sitting there in the shed doing nothing and that poor man not being able to get out.”
Mr Bell lives in Waterloo Road, and had owned the scooter for only six weeks after saving up for 18 months to buy it.
It was stolen from his doorstep overnight last Saturday, leaving him housebound.
However three days later, following an appeal by Mrs Bowler in the Guardian for its return, Mr Bell was mobile once again, and enjoying the freedom the scooter gives him.
Mr Bell and his son had been pricing up a replacement scooter on Wednesday when they were told by Mrs Bowler of Mrs Gurney’s offer.
“My dad and granddad had arrived back at our workplace after looking at scooter prices, and I told them that a lovely lady had rung the Guardian and offered her scooter,” said Mrs Bowler.
“They were absolutely flabbergasted, and what Mrs Gurney did restores your faith in humanity.
“The bike has the right tyres to get Ron up and down kerbs, and the seat is ridiculously comfy – it is fantastic.
“We were resigned to having to buy a new one, and Mrs Gurney is a very kind and generous lady.”
Mrs Gurney would not accept any money for the scooter, and was presented with a bouquet to thank her for her amazing generosity.
Mrs Gurney said she “could have throttled” those responsible for taking Mr Bell’s scooter had she caught hold of them, and described the thieves as “the lowest of the low.”
She said she had been encouraged by her doctor to walk as much as she could, and uses her walker to keep as active as possible.
“The scooter has been looked after and repolished, and I’ve kept it clean,” she said.