“A lot of people with a lot of wisdom, they are dying at home alone so the rewarding part is changing his life. Changing his last days," she says, about just being there for the man.
Jenni Ekletsion was an employee at Prime Technologies who also drove for Uber on the weekends.
“The reason I drive Uber is to help others. Also, I decide to drive Uber to preach Gospel," she said, according to a video by Good Morning America.
Ekletsion emigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia 20 years ago, and since then, she has built quite a life for herself and it reflects in the kind of conversations she engages with her passengers during her Uber rides.
“I’m very flexible as far as my experience. If you want to talk about marriage, I can talk about marriage. How to raise children, I have two children. If they want to talk about school, I’m in school doing my doctorate degree. I can talk about school," she said, reports ABC6.
HEARTWARMING STORY! What would you be willing to give up to care for a stranger?— WTVC NewsChannel 9 (@newschannelnine) November 24, 2021
Your time? Your freedom? What about your job? Jump into Jenni Ekletsion’s Uber, & get an answer — actually, a lot of answers.https://t.co/rdS8G2cIDT
But, Jenni had no idea that her Uber rides would introduce her to someone that would change her life. It happened when she met 88-year-old Paul Webb.
Webb spent too much time alone in his Canal Winchester home. His wife was no longer with him, and any and every memory he had of him was slowly slipping out of his mind too, because of his dementia. His son Keith says his dad was a strong man who was slowly crumbling. “Worked at Battelle for 65 years. He was steady. He was the rock of the family. And that rock began to crumble," Keith said.
One day in April 2020, Paul booked an Uber for himself, and as fate had it, Ekletsion was his driver. Somehow, from the first time she spoke to him, she knew she needed to be there for him.
"When he called for a ride— when he just talk to me by phone— I knew this guy, I’m going to take care of him. Before even, I see him! He called me the next day. So I can pick him up, take him wherever he wants to go. So, we start a relationship. I used to come here after work every day to take him out for lunch," she said.
Just days after their first ride, Ekletsion decided to do something about Keith and his helplessness. “I used to work from home, but now I completely quit my job to work with Paul. It’s weird, but I like it. I love my Dad and I didn’t do this for my Dad (because she emigrated) so that’s what motivates me to quit my job," Ekletsion said.
Now, Ekletsion comes and cares for Paul every single day. There's not much to do, they simply spend time together and engage in some conversation. But why exactly does she do this? “A lot of people with a lot of wisdom, they are dying at home alone so the rewarding part is changing his life. Changing his last days. He’s 88. You don’t deserve to be alone," she said.
And how exactly did she win over Keith and his sister Melanie's trust? “Consistency. She was real. She did what she said she was going to do, and she did it in a way that was genuine," Keith said. “She’s the same. In a world that’s ever-changing, rarely will you find someone who does not change. She’s the same. To this day, it’s mind-blowing.”
The best part about this woman is that she knows she's meant to take care of others. “Sometimes you don’t know what you’re created for. I am created for taking care of others.” There aren't many people like Ekletsion today, and if you know someone like her, cherish them.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Good Morning America (Uber driver quits job to care for an elderly passenger l GMA)