person in wheelchair

Father Posts Plea For 5-Yr-Old Son In Wheelchair That Waits For Bus In Rain & Group Of Teens Answer It

Being a parent is a demanding job but the rewards are worth it. Parents do everything possible in their power and sometimes go above and beyond for their children. The feeling of not being able to give your child something they need is terrible and heartbreaking. The following story tells us about a man and his physically challenged child who is bound to a wheelchair.

Tim Killam, a father from Rhode Island, felt the stinging pain when his son Ryder had to wait in the snow and rain while he waited for the bus every day. Tim did try to come up with ideas to protect his young son from the harsh elements but nothing was feasible. Killam even tried to use a deck umbrella but it was ineffective against the strong winds. 

Dejected and desperate, he turned to a social media platform, Facebook [1].

He asked his relatives and friends if they had a better umbrella that he could use to shield his son. He did not get what he was looking for. However, he got something much better.

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A Helpless Father’s Pleas Answered

Tim’s post on Facebook was a request for any aid or solution that could solve his problem, and fortunately, it was seen by the Construction Technology teacher at Westerly High School, Dan McKena. The teacher promised to come up with a solution quickly as the freezing winter months were just around the bend. Three classes from Westerly High School came together to create a small building that Ryder could wait in. It also had to be robust enough to fight the snow and wind. 

A local Home Depot contributed wood for the noble project and the Killam family paid for the rest. The high students got to work, and the final result was excellent. The brand new bus stop was perfect for young Ryder Killam. The bus stop was ADA compliant thanks to the assistance of his older brother who happened to be in one of the three classes. The small fort has a ramp and a strong roof to keep the elements at bay. Young Ryder’s bus stop even came with a signboard that reads “Ryder’s Bus Stop.”

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Ryder on his wheelchair and his father waiting in "Ryder's Bus Stop"
Image Credits: WJAR

By the end, Ryder could see how much his neighborhood cared for him. The high school students got an opportunity to put their talents to good use. 

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Little Ryder’s Struggles

Usually, children will run out to the bus from inside their houses when it is snowing or raining, but it takes Ryder extra time. Ryder lives roughly 75 feet from where the school bus picks him up. Being confined to his wheelchair, Ryder could not just run out to catch the school bus. It takes him time to travel, explained Tim.

Tim did not want his son to be exposed to the bad weather so he tried everything in his power. He revealed that he had used their patio umbrella to keep his son dry. Unfortunately, the old patio umbrella was useless against the blowing wind. He then decided to turn to his social community for help and ideas. The Killam family had posted their request on Facebook and hoped to get a better umbrella that someone was not using.

This Facebook post led the construction technology class at Westerly High School to the Killam family. 

The Westerly High School teacher, McKena recalled his first email to the Killam family. He said that they were interested and ready to help them. 

Since his students had done other projects it would be a good revision for them. In an interview with a local news outlet[2], McKena hoped that the social service project would help the students take an active interest in their community and interact with people outside the school environment. 

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Dan McKena's students busy on a project
Image Credits: WJAR

The Help For The Wheelchair-bound Boy

Dan McKena added that the students thoroughly enjoyed the project. The fruits of their labor were the sweetest. They learned the importance of teamwork and improved their bonds with each other. The students loved working on creating the bus stop. There was not a single student who did not come to work or make excuses not to contribute to the project. The social project gave them a sense of responsibility and camaraderie.

Ryder’s little heart was full of happiness when he saw his bus stop. The Killam family was extremely moved. They talked about Ryder’s reaction and gratitude towards the community in a later interview with the local news outlet. 

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Tim said that Ryder is in love with the bus stop. He revealed that Ryder would stay out after school and just enjoy being inside his little fort. They thanked the community and the power of unity. They could not believe how everyone contributed to helping a family in need. 

Ryder’s Fort sits at the end of the driveway of the Killam’s home. It allows him to wait at ease for the bus that takes him to Dunn’s Corners Elementary School in Westerly. Needless to say, the Killam’s are extremely grateful for the gift.

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Keep Reading: Man Designs An Off-Road “Wheelchair” So That His Wife Can Go Places She Never Imagined, It’s Now Up For Mass-Production.

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Sources

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  1. Rhode Island students build bus stop shelter for boy who uses wheelchair.” Kiro. Bob D’Angelo. November 21, 2021.
  2. Westerly High School students build bus stop to shelter boy who uses wheelchair.” Turn to 10. Sam Read. November 18 2021.
Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]
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