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A Sweet Woman In Vancouver Held This Man's Hand To Calm Him Down On The Train

"I'm a mother and he needed someone to touch."

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An elderly woman's simple act of compassion for a distressed man on the Vancouver SkyTrain has touched thousands of people.

Ehab Taha, who described the encounter on his Facebook page, told BuzzFeed Canada he was on the SkyTrain between Vancouver and Surrey when a "distraught" man started cursing, shouting, and moving erratically.

“He was touching a few people and everyone was getting scared and anxious around him — myself included, if I’m being honest.”

With most passengers fearful for what might happen, Taha said an older woman managed to defuse the situation.

“This elderly woman just reached out her hand and just waited for him to take it. He held her hand and he finally calmed down.”

The man sat on the floor next to her for about 20 minutes until he reached his stop. He told her "Thanks Grandma" and left the train.

"He was crying by the end of it,” Taha said.

“I recognized I witnessed something incredible, something really special,” Taha said.

Ehab Taha / Facebook / Via Facebook: ehab.taha

He said he spoke to the elderly woman afterward to thank her for her kindness.

She told him she was 70 years old and had two sons roughly the same age as the distressed man on the train.

"I'm a mother and he needed someone to touch," she told him.

She admitted that she had worried for her own safety, especially since the man had a pen in his hand that may have become a weapon. But she overcame her fear and reached out to him.

“For me it was more important that he didn’t feel alone,” she said.

Taha's photo of the two strangers silently holding hands has been shared over 14,000 times since he posted it. He says he's "overwhelmed with how much it resonated with everyone" but that there was a clear lesson.

"People struggle. Just because we don't always understand people doesn't mean we should fear them," Taha said.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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