Arkansas teen saves to buy friend electric wheelchair, reminding us all about compassion

Click to play video: 'Arkansas teen surprises classmate with new wheelchair'
Arkansas teen surprises classmate with new wheelchair
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Brandon Qualls struggled to get the words out over the tears filling his head.

“Every single day, he helps anybody,” Qualls said of his Caddo Hills High School senior classmate, and friend, Tanner Wilson.

The Arkansas teen was sitting in the new, electric wheelchair Wilson had spent the past three years saving up to purchase. Qualls had been confined to a manual wheelchair for his high school experience and struggled to get around.

Tanner Wilson (L) and Brandon Qualls (R) embrace in a hallway at Caddo Hills High School in Arkansas. KARK via NBC

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“My arms would get really tired and I would have to stop and take rests,” Qualls told CBS.

Tanner described Qualls as a “really good friend” and said he felt the need and desire to help. After years of saving and searching for the right chair, he found a sale on Facebook.

Global News has been unable to confirm how much Wilson spent. New electric wheelchairs typically cost more than $1,000 in Canada.

Qualls wiped away tears as he recalled the moment last week when he was given the surprise chair.

An Arkansas high school senior has been applauded for his selflessness after saving for years and purchasing an electric wheelchair for classmate Brandon Qualls who had been using a manual chair until last week. KARK via NBC

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Kathy Baker, a teacher at the school, said Wilson is “just a great young man” who “loves to do for others.”

That young man’s attitude is a good reminder of the value of empathy and compassion.

“I feel like life is a little too short to, you know, be judging everybody,” Wilson said of the purchase. “You should think more of others than just yourself.”

The chair will remain at the school until Qualls’ family gets a properly-equipped vehicle, according to NBC.

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