If you or a loved one use a wheelchair, Orlando bus driver Thomas Byrd understands what that’s like.
“I’ve been there myself,” he said to a young woman wearing headphones, sunglasses and a hoodie. “Those chairs are hard to control! I was tipping over, running over toes. Thank goodness I only had it for six weeks or else I could’ve done some real damage.”
When Byrd sprained his knee at the trampoline museum, his doctor told him to rest as much as possible and to avoid putting weight on it. He quickly borrowed his mother’s wheelchair and spent 29 long days using it. This included six at a popular mouse-led amusement park where he navigated himself to the front of crowded lines.
“I get you, man,” “I know what it’s like,” and “Boy, does seeing that thing bring me back” are a few of the lines you may hear if you wheel onto his bus.
“I just want them to know I’m one of them, that they’re not alone. The world doesn’t understand them, but me? I’ve been blessed to see it from both sides.”