Jason Ward: Muscle and Ink Studio Good Samaritan

Each Friday, Suzie Barry, who has Down’s syndrome, walks into Muscle and Ink studio, in Hamilton, New Zealand, she brings some stick-on tattoos and asks tattoo artist Jason Ward, age 44, to put them on her. He does — without charging her. Mr. Ward said, “The first time she came in, she just walked in, slapped couple of stick-on tattoo packets on the desk  and asked me to put them on her arm. I said, ‘What?’ And she said it again so I sat her down and put them on.” As of early December 2014, this had been a routine for four months. Mr. Ward said, “It started out as something quite funny, though. I mean, who does that? Who walks into a tattoo shop to get stick-on tattoos? But if she was a member of my family and she had have walked into another tattoo shop and they had told her to bugger off, I’d be angry. Why would you say no? You should treat everybody the same. She’s just started to get a little more comfortable now, and I try and engage with her more to get her talking.” A friend took a photo of the two and put it on Facebook, and the photo went viral. Mr. Ward said, “I didn’t even know her name until Monday [1 December 2014], when everything went nuts on the internet but I still don’t know a lot about her.” He added, “On Monday I wanted to hide. I had no idea what was going on. It was crazy that a photo that a friend took on a typical Friday could just take off like that.”

For More Information: Ian Hughes, “Tattooist’s heartwarming weekly good deed for girl with Down’s syndrome makes her feel ‘equal’.” Mirror (UK). 4 December 2014


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