Teacher Carries Wheelchair-Bound Student On Back So She Doesn’t Miss Field Trip
Aug 02, 2022 by apost team
Living with a disability is never easy, no matter what your age is. There are many kinds of disabilities that are recognized today, which include both physical and mental. With the support of loved ones, navigating everyday life can become easier, but often, the world is not always kind enough to include you. For example, for people who have to permanently use a wheelchair, most buildings don't have a wheelchair ramp to get into the building.
This can hinder how a person with a wheelchair can get around and often causes people to either become dependent on others for help or makes them unwilling to leave their home. As a child, this can mean that they are not included in basic activities or exciting events such as a school field trip, which can be devastating.
Ryan King is a special little girl who was born with a debilitating disease — spina bifida. Her family, who is from Louisville, Kentucky, knew that they would have to deal with a lot of obstacles along the way after she was born on July 7, 2009. However, it isn't just her parents who are looking out for her!
Back in 2019, her teacher, Jim Freeman, extended his help to the family so that Ryan could be part of an exciting school trip outside the state. While earlier, it was most likely that Ryan would have to sit out the trip, this new development meant that she got to be a normal school student excited for an amazing experience! It is heartwarming to know that teachers exist who help her out more than they could have ever imagined.
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Ryan has a Facebook page dedicated specifically to her, and it provides a lot of information about her birth and the challenges she has already been through. Ryan's mother, Shelly King, explained in the description section of the Facebook page that Ryan was diagnosed with spina bifida when she was only 5 months pregnant. Naturally, she and her husband wondered if their little girl would have a normal life while growing up in a limited world and hoped for the best for her.
Immediately after Ryan was born, she was taken to surgery. This was followed up by months of complications and problems that took her to the NICU a few times. However, the little girl pulled through and showed the world as well as her family that she was strong. Though she has been wheelchair-bound for years, she continues to have a zest for life that is unparalleled.
According to her page, "Ryan is a spit fire and a trail blazer. She does ballet and lyrical dance, she’s won over 20 pageants, been in multiple Derby fashion shows. She’s rolled the runway in Chicago fashion week and even been on The Today Show. She plays golf and loves to swim and snorkel." The little girl has shown that there are no such things as limitations, and when one puts their mind to something, anything is possible.
However, there can still be complications with how the world treats you when you are in a wheelchair, and school outings for the young girl can become unnecessarily difficult because she requires a lot of care and concern.
Thankfully for Ryan, her teacher, Jim Freeman, wasn't about to let her miss a school outing to the Ohio fossil beds in September 2019. He made the little girl and her family an offer that she really couldn't resist. According to CNN, he told Ryan that he would be willing to use a backpack carrier to carry her around all day so that she could enjoy the trip with the rest of her classmates.
“We’ve had field trips before where we weren’t able to go and the school gives us alternate education days,” Shelly told CNN. "But when she goes back to school, her peers and classmates are all talking about the field trip, so she doesn't have the same experience," she explained. "And when she's not there, the kids really miss her, too."
Shelly didn't want Ryan to miss any more exciting experiences, so she ended up finding a "backpack that a friend had sent me and grabbed it, and said I'm just going to carry her so she can experience this." When she brought up her plan to Ryan's teacher, Freeman, who didn't know her yet, stepped up and said, "I'm happy to tote her around on the Falls all day!"
Shelly told CNN, "He knows who Ryan is, but they didn't have any prior personal relationship. I don't think he had any idea what a big impact he was going to make on so many different people."
Shelly uploaded photos of the outing and explained how Freeman helped her daughter, and the post gained hundreds of comments and thousands of shares from people who were thankful for teachers like Freeman.
What a wonderful, caring teacher! What did you think of this story? Tell us your thoughts, and be sure to pass this along as well!