Viral tweet helps find Oxford medical student Samaritan | University of Oxford
Viral tweet helps find Oxford medical student Samaritan
Viral tweet helps find Oxford medical student Samaritan

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Viral tweet helps find Oxford medical student Samaritan

An Oxford University student who stepped in to help a stranger off a train has been identified following a viral appeal to find and thank her.

David Murray, who has Parkinson's, had been travelling by train from London to Cardiff when his medication failed, leaving him barely able to move.

Fourth year Oxford medical student, Rebecca te Water Naude, saw Mr Murray struggling at Cardiff Central Station on 28th March and helped him off the train before calling station staff to ensure he received help.

After the event he took to Twitter to find the student who helped, with his message being re-tweeted more than 28,000 times.

The University College Oxford student, who was also in the 2017 Blue Boat for Oxford, said: ‘When I saw David he was standing up, frozen, just a few minutes away from Cardiff where I was getting off so I asked him if he was okay.

‘He told me he had Parkinson’s and his medication had stopped working, so I offered to help him get off the train. We chatted about what he had been up to and I told him as a medical student, I was interested in Parkinson’s. When the train stopped I helped him get onto the platform, where we asked the station staff for a wheelchair so he could go and meet his wife.

‘It really was just the natural thing to do, and when I saw the tweet I was mostly just pleased to hear he got home safely.’

Speaking to the BBC after the event, Mr Murray, who is also a Patient Advocate and Trustee of the Cure Parkinson's Trust, said: ‘Parkinson's medication is notoriously inconsistent. I was just frozen, I couldn't move.

‘I was panicking. It's very difficult in a public setting because you have all the appearances of being drunk.

‘Rebecca is clearly an unassuming individual but she probably doesn't realise the difference help like hers makes to individuals struggling with Parkinson's. Apart from the direct help, people like Rebecca give me the confidence to retain my independence.’

Many other Parkinson’s sufferers joined the Twitter conversation to share their own stories of how they had been helped by kind strangers in the past.