A touching moment was caught on camera at an IHOP in Springfield, Illinois, this week.
“Today while visiting your Springfield, IL location on Dirksen I witnessed a very touching moment involving one of your servers,” Keshia Dotson wrote on IHOP’s Facebook page. “A man and disabled women were dining and your server sat down with them and proceeded to help feed the disabled woman while her companion enjoyed his food. My faith in humanity has been restored a little today.”
The IHOP server has been identified as Joe Thomas, who has worked at the breakfast restaurant for 11 years.
The woman in the photo has Huntington disease, which causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. She comes in once a week with her husband.
Thomas said he noticed that each time the couple came in for a meal, the woman’s husband would help his wife eat first while allowing his food to go cold.
One day, Thomas decided to sit down at the table and feed the customer while allowing her husband to eat his food.
“I didn’t really offer. I just started doing it,” Thomas told CBS News. “I told the gentleman to ‘Sit down, eat your food. I got her.'”
Thomas would have continued the weekly ritual without any recognition outside of his community if another customer hadn’t witnessed his act of kindness.
Thomas says he hopes his story will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
“I really treat people like I want to be treated,” Thomas said. “If I get to be that age and something happened to me I would want someone to help me out.”