Taxi drivers meet people from all walks of life and while many passengers are never seen again, some fares leave a lasting impression – and a bond that can last a lifetime.
One such bond was formed in Leeds almost a decade ago when taxi driver Manzoor Khan, known as Manny, now 66, picked up Patricia Wilde from hospital in floods of tears.
Manny discovered that Pat’s brother had just died and he couldn’t leave the distraught pensioner on her own. Ever since that moment, Pat, 83, has now become part of Manny’s family and can rely on them for anything.
Manny told Leeds Live: “She didn’t have no family or nothing. I said I would look after her and I’ve been looking after her ever since.
“I do almost everything for her, I take her to the doctor, I do her shopping, I look after her house, her bills and stuff like that. A person needs care all the time.
“If she ever needs me, all she has ever got to do is give me a phone call. She is part of the family now, we adopted a grandma.”
Pat regularly enjoys meals with the family and knows she only has to push a buzzer if she needs anything. Having been left on her own after her brother’s death, she now trusts Manny, his wife, Rashmeen, and daughter, Sabina, with her life.
She said: “It feels as if I’ve got somebody I can trust and go to if I don’t feel so well. Manny and his family have been very, very good to me.
“I love them and I trust them with my life. If I want anything, all I have to do is push a buzzer and he’ll come to help.”
That chance meeting with Manny in his taxi changed Pat’s life forever. And it was Manny’s kindness and compassion that made a difference.
He said: “She was crying, and she said she’d lost her brother, David. He’s all she had in the whole world. She didn’t have any more family, no kids, no one.
“I brought her to my home. I thought, I can’t drop this lady off and just say ‘Here you are love, see you later.
“I said to my wife her name was Pat, her brother has passed away and she’ll be stopping with us for a while. We made her a pot of tea.”
Not wanting to see Pat go home to an empty house, they offered her a bed for as long as she wanted and Pat stayed for six weeks, during which time she also bonded with Manny’s four children and grandchild.
She returned home after that, but ever since then, comes to their house for tea and watches TV with the family, who then walk her home.
Manny said: “Loneliness is a disease and it will kill you. You don’t have to be poorly.”
Leeds Live readers showed their love and support for Manny and his family for the kind gesture.
Toxman12 said: “We can all learn a lot from this situation.”
1985 said: “Well done to Manny and his lovely family.”
Arthurgallon said: “Manny, you and your family have hearts of gold. If only there was more like you.”
lawless added: “What everyone needs, kind heart, compassion and basic human dignity. Well done Manny.”
Manny has shown the special character it takes to be a taxi driver. They remain calm and professional when dealing with passengers who can be at their best or at their worst. But they are not robots – they are kind and caring and deserve recognition for what they do.
All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.