A kindhearted teacher has been hailed a hero after going the extra mile to ensure a wheelchair-bound student could fully enjoy her class field trip.
10-year-old Ryan Neighbors from Louisville, Ohio, has spina bifida, a neural tube defect which affects the development of the spinal cord and surrounding bones. The Tully Elementary School pupil uses a wheelchair, and has had to endure various surgeries.
Sadly, Ryan’s condition has previously prevented her from attending previous field trips, leading to her missing out on building special, life-long memories with her school friends.
And so – when the school announced a field trip to the Falls of Ohio – Ryan’s mum Shelly King knew this location would in no way be accessible by wheelchair, and began to prepare for an ‘alternate field trip day’ of their own.
Fortunately, young Ryan had an Earth-bound Guardian Angel in the form of committed Tully Elementary School teacher, Mr Jim Freeman.
Showing the sort of generosity found within the very best teachers, Mr Freeman offered to carry Ryan around on his back for the entirety of the trip; allowing her to learn and explore alongside her classmates.
Writing on the Team Ryan Facebook page, ecstatic mum Shelly shared the story:
If i haven’t bragged on my kids school enough – well, listen to this.
They are going on a field trip to Falls Of The Ohio today. Obviously, NOT accessible. I was preparing for an “alternate field trip day” when a male teacher reached out and said “I’m happy to tote her around on the falls all day!”
She is sooooo excited to do this indepdent from me Omg MELT MY HEART. Thank you Christie Pile for giving me these back pack carriers, making this possible for Ryan. I CANT wait for pics today
We are sooooo blessed to have an ENTIRE school that is so compassionate and empathetic and NEVER make her feel left out
These are the things that the news should be talking about. These beautiful people should be shared with the world, to see and inspire. If you come across this post please share this post, let’s make love go viral.
Shelly’s post did indeed go viral, with many commenters expressing great admiration for Mr Freeman, both as a teacher and as a human being.
One person cheered:
This man is a real hero. God bless him for what he does. God bless your sweet daughter for being such a warrior and being able to enjoy her field trip.
That is the kind of person whose life purpose is to be a teacher!! That is just simply amazing!!! I’m so happy your beauty got to experience this!
This story illustrates the profound impact an inspirational teacher can have on a young person’s life.
Truly a heroic profession, with so much scope to lead by example.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.