Hardware store employee builds parallel bars so a boy with cerebral palsy can learn to walk
"Just go the extra mile. And it just may reward you 100 times back.”
A story first shared by Fox 29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the epitome of customer service that goes above and beyond.
Jessica Getty and her husband, Mark, went to a Lowe’s hardware store in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, earlier this month to buy materials to help their 5-year-old son, Will, make a significant leap in his development. They were looking to buy PVC pipes to build parallel bars so he could learn to walk.
"He was born very prematurely, just 23 weeks, so as a result, he has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy," Jessica told Fox 29. People with spastic cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling muscles in their arms, legs, trunk and face, making walking difficult.
The Gettys hoped their son could learn to walk by training on a set of parallel bars that would help him safely remain upright while he moved his legs and feet. “One of our goals for William is to get him walking,” Jessica told Fox 29.
When the family got to the PVC pipe section, they asked Lowe’s employee Dave Urban for help, and he quickly realized that the job would require more than cutting a few pieces. "I thought I would just be finding some fittings, making a couple of cuts, and I saw Will, and I found out what we were building," Urban explained while holding back tears.
Urban got to work cutting and fitting together pipes for the Gettys’ project, and over the course of 30 minutes, he created a parallel bar device that matched their exact specifications.
William even got out of his chair and successfully tested the bars out in the PVC pipe aisle. Urban was moved by the youngster's drive to learn to walk. “I think you saw that courageous smile of his,” Urban said, adding that he felt a “sense of pride” seeing William stand using the bars he built him. “It keeps getting me,” he said, overcome with emotion.
When parents are raising a child with special needs, they need all the support they can get, and the Gettys were moved that a stranger stepped up to help. “It was really cool,” Mark said, according to The Guardian, with his wife adding, “It was just kindness that touched us and really meant the world to us.”
It’s the type of practical kindness that may significantly impact William’s life.
\u201cLowe's employee goes above and beyond to help family build custom device to help son with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy learn to walk https://t.co/BcBw0ericc\u201d— Uplifting News by Qwyck (@Uplifting News by Qwyck) 1681105384
Since they brought the parallel bars home, Jessica told The Guardian that William has been diligently working with them to learn to walk. The parallel bars help him to step forward, side to side and to pull himself up to stand. After just one day, he could use the bars to walk about 10 feet across the family’s kitchen floor.
Urban says the opportunity to help means as much to him as it did to the Getty family. He hopes his actions will inspire others to help when they can as well.
“Just go the extra mile,” Urban said. “And it just may reward you 100 times back.”