When a Mississippi high school football player noticed something essential missing from a handicap classmate’s home, he and a fellow teammate sprang into action to make her life easier.
Hancock High School student Whitley McQueen, 17, suffers from arthrogryposis, a rare disease that limits the growth of bone structure, as well as a restrictive lung disorder that restricts her to a ventilator, WLOX reported.
Despite her physical ailments, Whitley lives life as a normal teenager. But one day, when her classmate, Devin Ladner, was driving by her home, he noticed something wasn’t right.
“I drove through here one day and realized Whitley’s mom truck was here with no ramp,” he told WLOX. “I said ‘Mom, something’s wrong. We gotta do something about this.”
Whitley’s mother, Priscilla McQueen said not having a ramp was a burden.
“I would have to load [the ventilator] every day, and she would have to walk down the steps,” McQueen said.
Ladner then called local businesses to see if anyone could help in building the ramp, sparking the interest in Lowes, who donated the necessary materials.
Ladner was able to find the manpower. He and teammate Luke Miller spent a day building the much-needed ramp by scratch.
“It really shows what coming together and just focusing on one project can really do,” Luke said.
The boys’ head football coach, Neil Lollar, commended his player’s altruistic efforts.
“This is a project that they took upon themselves, directed it and headed up,” Lollar said. It makes me proud as a coach, but it should make all Hancock County folks proud.”
Whitley will soon receive a powered wheelchair to make getting in and out of the house even easier.