Being a parent of a child with disabilities comes with a lot of worries — but when New York mom Andrea Mackey saw her son Jeffrey’s cerebral palsy flare up at a local water park she realised she had nothing to worry about.
His two 5-year-old friends rushed to his side to help him walk.
Now a touching video of the children’s act of kindness has gone viral online with over 524,000 likes on Twitter.
“One of the obstacles Jeffrey faces with cerebral palsy is that his muscles get tight making it hard for him to walk,” Jeffrey’s sister, Mikaila, wrote on Twitter with a video.
“Today at the water park he was having a hard time walking but, his friends pushed him to keep going and never left him behind.”
One of the obstacles Jeffrey faces with cerebral palsy is that his muscles get tight making it hard for him to walk. Today at the water park he was having a hard time walking but, his friends pushed him to keep going and never left him behind💛 pic.twitter.com/o5tx94ifTE— mikaila ryan (@Mikaila_ryan) August 2, 2019
Jeffrey Mackey’s cerebral palsy has partially paralysed the right side of his body.
“Jeffrey is a tough kid,” his mum Andrea told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We push him and support him in whatever he wants to do. We keep him as active as our four other kids.”
She says Jeffrey plays multiple sports, including soccer and football and that the young athlete — who is a big New York Giants fan — hopes to play American football someday.
And while Jeffrey is as energetic as ever, his condition can sometimes slow him down. “When he gets cold, his muscles get tighter and it can make it difficult for him to move or walk,” Andrea says. When Jeffrey’s muscles begin to tighten, Andrea says she usually pulls Jeffrey on the sidelines to sit and hangs out with him.
But on August 1, when Jeffrey was going down the pool slides with his two soccer teammates Kane Raymond and Raya Joyce, the two five-year-olds refused to let Jeffrey miss out on the fun.
“Instead of Raya and Kane running past him to keep going down the slide, they stopped and noticed that he wasn’t moving as fast. The more he stopped they didn’t run by him, they just kept helping him,” Andrea recalls.
"Because his legs... he couldn't really walk, and I had to hold his hand up the stairs," 5-year-old Raya told local news station KTRK.
For the entire five hours that the children were at the local water park, Raya and Kane were at Jeffrey’s side, helping him walk and holding his hand as he went up the stairs. While helping Jeffrey seemed intuitive for his two young friends, Andrea was touched by the children’s act of kindness.
“As a mom, it was heartwarming. It reassured me that he will always have people to look out for him,” Andrea said. “Even if I’m not there, there will be someone as young as five to look out for him. It put my heart at ease.”
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