Church members provide wheelchair ramp for child with cerebral palsy

Published: March 19, 2007 | 5835th good news item since 2003

When Neeses resident Toni Hydrick read the story in The Times and Democrat about Katelyn Vest, the 6-year-old girl from Blackville with cerebral palsy who donated her hair to Locks of Love, Hydrick was moved to reach out to the child who can’t talk or walk. Locks of Love uses donated hair to provide hairpieces to children under age 18 who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Hydrick was touched that Katelyn, who is battling her own medical problems, wanted to do something to help others. That’s what prompted her to call Katelyn’s mother, Suzanne, to find out what she could do to help.

“At first, she was just dumbfounded that someone had even called and asked if they could help,” Hydrick said. “She said the one thing they needed most of all was a wheelchair ramp.”

Hydrick talked to members of the Women On Mission at Calvary Baptist Church of Neeses and told them, “I would like for us as a group to do something for them.”

The Women On Mission took the project idea to the men’s ministry of the church, and the men’s ministry paid for the building supplies, Hydrick said.

Her husband, Jack, got the wood together, and began working. Sections of the ramp were constructed in advance so that it just needed to be assembled this past Saturday morning when the men’s group and church pastor Benjamin Smoak went to Katelyn’s home to complete the project.

“We won’t get anything out of this. They won’t come to our church. But it’s doing something for someone who has a need,” Jack Hydrick said. “We’re just trying to do something nice in this messed up world. I don’t know how we ended up in Blackville helping someone, but it doesn’t matter where they are. We need to help them.”

Mrs. Hydrick noted that other church and community members donated money, music tapes and videos for Katelyn and gifts for the family, which also has a two-month-old child. Some of Hydrick’s coworkers donated a pole bird feeder and other lawn decorations. While the men were assembling the wheelchair ramp, Mrs. Hydrick, her daughter Stacie Rutland and several children put up the bird feeder and other lawn accessories.

Thanks to these good neighbors, Suzanne Vest and her daughters will return from visiting Katelyn’s father, who is working out of state, and find a brand new wheelchair ramp which will make transporting Katelyn in and out of the house much easier.

Published in Community
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