A US hardware store employee has warmed hearts across his community and beyond by building a trap meant to help a young boy with a severe movement disorder learn how to walk, going above the call of duty while on the clock.
Dave Urban was working his job at a Lowe’s store in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, when he spotted the parents of five-year-old William Getty pushing his wheelchair down an aisle displaying plastic water pipes. He asked Getty’s father, Mark, and mother, Jessica, what they were looking for, and they said they wanted some PVC pipes to build some parallel bars on which they could teach their son how to walk, the local television station WTXF reported recently.
Jessica Getty told the station that William was born about six months into her pregnancy with him and that he has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, a neuromuscular illness that prevents him from walking. “One of our goals for William is to get him walking,” Jessica Getty told the station.
Urban said he knew the Getty family needed much more from him than just finding and cutting down a pipe fitting or two. So he spent the next half-hour fitting and cutting pipes to the exact specifications that William’s parents had researched and found, and he fashioned them into a parallel bar device that the boy could use to practice walking.
The bars held up after William got out of his chair and grabbed on to them to test them out, a moment captured on a cellphone video.
“I think you saw that courageous smile of his,” Urban told WTXF in reference to the video showing William testing the bars. He described a “sense of pride” seeing William benefit from his craftsmanship and, as he fought tears, added: “It keeps getting me.”
The Getty family said to the news station that the bars which Urban built would not only let William practice walking forward and sideways. It would also help teach him how to stand up, and the boy’s relatives said they would be eternally grateful to have met Urban after he provided them with what they called life-changing help.
“I just think that Dave was really nice to help my little brother build these things to help him,” William’s sister, Olivia, said to WTXF.
In a report that went viral on sectors of social media dedicated to highlighting inspiring stories of humanity in the news media, the station showed footage of William reaching the end of the bar on foot. The bars had been at William’s home for just one day when the video was recorded, demonstrating the progress he has made with only a little bit of walking practice.
“It was really cool,” Mark Getty added. Jessica Getty echoed her husband, saying: “It was just kindness that touched us and really meant the world to us.”
Jessica Getty on Monday told the Guardian that William has been getting practice daily steps since Urban built the parallel bars for him.
Urban made it clear that his chance encounter with William and his parents was just as meaningful to him as it was to them.
“Just go the extra mile,” Urban said. “And it just may reward you 100 times back.”