Good Neighbors

Firefighters Build Wheelchair Ramp For Boy With Nerve Disorder

The whole community came together to give the boy a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

It's easy to take the little things we do every day for granted. Like jumping in our cars to go anywhere we want, or taking a walk outside.

For a 12-year-old boy in Clearwater, FL, enjoying a breath of fresh air is a luxury.

Sean Findley was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Alexander's disease when he was 3 years old. As a result of the disease, Sean has to use a wheelchair to get around.

Paramedic Jerome Mourelatos and Sean have developed a special friendship over the years. Clearwater Fire & Rescue Dept/Facebook

Because of his diagnosis, Sean's doctors said he wouldn't live past 5 years old. Now, he's about to become a teenager.

Sean lives with his grandmother, and since their house doesn't have a wheelchair ramp, Sean spends most of his days indoors.

That is until people in his community (literally) stepped up to help.

Jerome Mourelatos, a medic with Clearwater Fire and Rescue, has known Sean since he was 4 years old. Mourelatos would often respond to calls when Sean would have seizures or other emergency health issues.

Members of Clearwater Fire & Rescue pitched in with other community members to build a wheelchair ramp at Sean's home. Clearwater Fire & Rescue Dept/Facebook

The two have formed a special relationship over the years, and Mourelatos recently told WBIR that Sean "has his heart."

That's why Mourelatos, along with a few other Clearwater firefighters and rescue workers, teamed up with a local architect and structural engineer to build a wheelchair ramp outside of Sean's home.

"Hopefully this teamwork and volunteerism will enable him to lead a little more normal life – to be able to do some of the things we take for granted," the fire department said in a release.

Thanks to the newly installed ramp, Sean will be able to get outdoors much more often.Clearwater Fire & Rescue Dept/Facebook

After the crew finished building the ramp last week, an overjoyed Sean joined them to test it out.

According to a Facebook post shared by the fire department, Sean had the biggest smile on his face when he was finally able to use the ramp.

"This is what pure joy looks like when you have a brand new wheelchair ramp and you're able to make it out of your house easily for the first time in years." the fire department wrote on Twitter. "Sean Findley, you are our hero!"

Sean was all smiles when he finally got to test out his new ramp. Clearwater Fire & Rescue Dept/Facebook

Wow! What a beautiful group effort by members of the fire and rescue crew, along with the designers and Lowe's Home Improvement for providing the building materials at no cost. Kudos to all for making a boy's dreams come true!

How can you start something good?

Feeling inspired by this example of neighbors helping neighbors?

You might not have the time or resources to build wheelchair ramps, but you can help others in similar ways, especially during this time of crisis.

Donate to charities that help with grants for children with disabilities, like the United Healthcare Children's Foundation or the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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