Big W shopper floored by 'overwhelming' act of kindness for autistic son: 'Huge relief'

A Brisbane mother has shared her gratitude on social media after her appeal for help sourcing a discontinued Big W t-shirt for her autistic son was answered by strangers across the country.

In January, Stephanie Radnoty shared a post to Facebook group Big W Mums and a North Brisbane local page asking people to help her find a specific Big W t-shirt for her seven-year-old son, Cash.

“My autistic son literally only wears this shirt. It's the fabric and cut and sewn cross neck detail not as much about the image. But he doesn't like the snake image on the new shirts in the same style,” she wrote in her original post.

Big W t-shirts in a heart shape on Facebook; boy wearing a Big W t-shirt
The grateful mum received 10 Big W t-shirts for her son after putting out the call on social media. Source: Facebook

On Wednesday, Ms Radnoty shared a follow-up post to the Big W Mums Facebook page, where she thanked users for their “overwhelming” support after receiving 10 shirts from kind-hearted strangers.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Ms Radnoty explained that the first t-shirt was hand-delivered only an hour after the original post from a young woman who “said her brother was about to throw the shirt out”.

While the remaining nine t-shirts were delivered from North Brisbane and across Australia in varying sizes from eight to 14 – so Cash could continue wearing them as he grew.

Desperate mother brought to tears by kindness of Big W mums

Ms Radnoty even divulged that a photographer for Big W stepped in to source one of the discontinued t-shirts for Cash.

“It's been such a huge relief. Not having to sneak shirts off him in the middle of the night. Worry about it [being] clean. Or him just grabbing it wet out of the washing machine,” she explained.

Ms Radnoty expressed that she was brought to tears from the amazing response, but mostly felt “an overwhelming feeling of support”.

Mother, son and daughter pose with son wearing Big W t-shirt
Ms Radnoty expressed that she was brought to tears by the overwhelming response from strangers on the Big W Mums and North Brisbane Facebook pages. Source: Supplied

“And seeing all those other mums with neurodiverse children share their stories, that was heartwarming. Stories that resonate,” she added.

The grateful mother-of-two explained that when Cash eventually grows out of his beloved t-shirts, she plans to sew them into a patchwork quilt to give them a second life.

“When he's grown out of them, I'm thinking of making them into a patchwork quilt for him. Such a lovely memory of generosity from all over. And it would be like a big hug to find comfort in I think. As long as I pick the correct fabric for the underside,” she laughed.

'This restores the goodness, the kindness, the humanity in a sometimes cruel world'

Meanwhile, Ms Radnoty’s story has struck a chord with hundreds of mums on Facebook, who flooded the comments to echo their support.

“I'm so glad the power of the people worked for you! This is just beautiful,” wrote one woman.

“That’s so lovely. Sometimes it is the smallest thing to one person but means the world to someone else,” another added.

“This restores the goodness, the kindness, the humanity in a sometimes cruel world. A lovely gesture and sense of community for one individual... how incredible!” wrote a third.

Shoppers exit front of Big W store
Ms Radnoty’s story has struck a chord with hundreds of mums on the Big W Mums Facebook group. Source: AAP

Meanwhile fellow mothers of neurodiverse children confessed to “crying happy tears” and shared their own stories in the comments.

“As another mum of a son with autism I'm hearing you. I’m so happy those kind people were able to help you. It can be so tough when your child will only wear certain things. The only shorts my son has worn for years have been discontinued. You’re doing a great job,” commented one mother.

“As a mum to an ASD daughter I can relate to this. My daughter will only wear one pair of shorts and thankfully I was able to buy them last season in the next two sizes. What a wonderful community we have around us. So happy for you and your son,” wrote another.

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