Wheelchair-bound man at Jln Kukoh relies on kind passers-by to get home every day

The road home is fraught with difficulty for a York Hill resident, who has to rely on the kindness of strangers to go home every night.

The 52-year-old man is wheelchair-bound and does not have enough strength to push himself home from the bus stop.

The man told Lianhe Wanbao that he contracted polio as a child, which caused his muscles to atrophy over the years. By the time he was in his teens, he was unable to stand for long periods of time and had trouble walking.

While the man used to hold a job in the past, he was dismissed by his employer after his hands lost the strength to complete tasks.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, even small slopes pose an imposing challenge to the man, as his muscles have weakened in recent years.

As he has several good friends at Changi Airport, the man visits them almost every day.

His older brother, who is slightly intellectually disabled, pushes him to the bus stop near their home at York Hill, where he then takes a bus to the airport by himself.

However, the difficulty comes when he returns home at around 9pm. There is an overhead bridge next to the bus stop where he alights.

Residents in the area usually cross the overhead bridge and cut through the Jln Kukoh housing estate to reach York Hill. It takes a maximum of ten minutes to get to York Hill by this route, reports Lianhe Wanbao.

However, the man has to take the long way around to get home, which is full of slopes and requires at least half an hour of travel time.

Due to his limited strength, he is unable to wheel himself home, and therefore has to ask strangers alighting at the bus stop for help.

“There are not many people who are willing to help. Some people are rushing for time, so I do not blame them,” he told Lianhe Wanbao.

He added that there were one or two occasions where he was unable to find anyone to help him, and thus waited alone at the bus stop until dawn.

Residents in the area said that the man was a familiar figure. Most of them said that they would offer to help him when they saw him.

A 64-year-old female dishwasher told Lianhe Wanbao that she had helped the man several times.

She said:

“Pushing him up and down the slope is really very tiring. I have to take a break every few steps, but I help him as much as I can.”

Another man, who frequently goes running at Boat Quay, said he had helped wheel the man home on more than ten occasions.