IHOP Employee’s Life Changes After Video of Him Feeding Disabled Diner Goes Viral

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Photos of Joe Thomas, a server at IHOP in Springfield, Illinois, helping to feed a disabled customer have gone viral, but Thomas, 43, insists he was just trying to do a good deed, one that he does quite regularly. However, he never thought his kind gestures would open him up to opportunities that would change his life.

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IHOP customer Keisha Dotson took photos of Thomas assisting a disabled diner who was sitting with her husband. Thomas was helping feed her and even dabbing her mouth and cheeks with a napkin so the woman’s husband could also enjoy his meal too. She later posted the pictures on IHOP’s Facebook page and they’ve received a lot of attention since.

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Dotson captioned a picture of Thomas, “Today while visiting your Springfield, IL location on Dirkson I witnessed a very touching moment involving one of your servers. A man and disabled women [sic] 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.”

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But Thomas thought the whole situation was no big deal. “I just love helping people,” he told WAND-TV. “Every Saturday they’ll come in and they don’t even need menus or anything. I know exactly what they want.” He added “My mother and father always told me to treat everybody as equals, no matter what race, creed, color, whatever. Treat everybody equal.”

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The customer in question is a regular who suffers from Huntington’s disease, causing a progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. “I always see him stop eating to feed her and I was like, ‘Heck if I’m not doing anything why don’t I go feed her so he can eat and everyone can be happy?” Thomas told WICS. “I didn’t really offer. I just started doing it. I told the gentleman ‘Sit down, eat your food. I got her.'”

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Thomas says that since the images went viral he has been offered the opportunity to become a nurse, but he doesn’t see the big deal. “I am out there to help anyone if I can, don’t really look for anything in return, just have a good day and that’s it,” Thomas told WICS. “Remember that movie, ‘Pay It Foward’? That’s what I’m hoping for,” he said.

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