Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Teens Help Boy With Physical Handicap

Acts of kindness sometimes come from the most unexpected places in life. In one such action, a group of teenagers built a bus stop shelter for a boy who has a physical handicap. The teens heard that the boy waits for his school bus, sometimes in the rain and snow. The news of the teens helping the 5-year-old boy who uses a wheelchair has gone viral online.

After hearing about Ryder Killam’s situation, they decided to help him out. Ryder faced hard times while waiting for the school bus during the cold days of winter. Braving snow and drizzle in cold weather is hard for anyone, and it is harder for a boy with a physical handicap. He had just a patio umbrella, which was not enough for his needs. The local teens in Bradford, Rhode Island, were informed about it, and then they built a shelter for the boy to keep him out of the weather. 

The boy was delighted by the teens’ generosity, and so were his parents. His father, Tim, said: “Ryder uses it every day before school, and his nurses wait inside it every day while they await his return home. He likes to hang out in it from time to time as his fort. This project brought our community together a bit; it showed that there is still so much good in this world and town!”

Having a physical handicap was difficult for Ryder in bad weather.
When Ryder started kindergarten, Tim decided to put up a patio umbrella at the end of his driveway to shelter the elements. (Image: via SWMS)

Ryder was diagnosed with spina bifida myelomeningocele, which makes him unable to walk. When he was just 2 years old, he began using a wheelchair. He was admitted to Dunn’s Corner Elementary preschool in 2019. His parents bring him to the bus stop every day. Since he cannot walk, he has to arrive early at the stop and wait for the arrival of the school bus, braving bad weather at times. It made things hard for him, and his parents were concerned.

Teens help son with physical handicap

When Ryder began going to the school, his parents decided to set up a patio umbrella at the last section of the driveway to offer him shelter from the rain and snow. Tim said: “The problem is with the wind and fall weather here in New England; it didn’t accomplish much unless it was just a rainy day with no wind; otherwise, he still would get wet and not stay warm.” He also reached out to the online forums to see if anything could help his son, including posting the situation on Facebook. 

ryder_killam
The shelter was built 5×8 feet to fit both Ryder and one of his parents or a nurse comfortably. (Image: via SWMS)

The post reached Dan McKenna from nearby Westerly High School who teaches construction technology. He and the students constructed a shelter to help the boy with the physical handicap. The local Home Depot donated wood worth $300, and the Kilmans put in $600 of their own money to cover the rest of the materials.

The shelter is 5×8 feet to ensure both Ryder and his parents or nurses can stay there for some time. Tim is delighted and said it turned out to be nicer than what he expected. Now, Ryder’s physical handicap isn’t such an impediment.

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Emma Lu
Emma Lu is an author who specializes in Cultural and Historical myths and stories.
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