Advertisement

Teacher carries student with spina bifida on back so she can enjoy field trip

A teacher at Roberta Tully Elementary School carried Ryan King, 10, on his back so she wasn't left out of a field trip due to accessibility issues.
A teacher at Roberta Tully Elementary School carried Ryan King, 10, on his back so she wasn't left out of a field trip due to accessibility issues. Team Ryan/Facebook

For one Kentucky teacher, no student gets left behind.

When 10-year-old Ryan King’s class was taking a school field trip to Falls of the Ohio State Park, the young girl nearly had to sit out.

Ryan was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. She uses a wheelchair to get around.

But one of her school’s teachers wasn’t about to let Ryan miss out on a beautiful trip because of accessibility issues.

Ryan’s mom, Shelly King, said teacher Jim Freeman offered to carry her.

READ MORE: ‘She’s got a tiger in there’: N.B. Canada Games gold medalist’s life or death journey to the podium

“We’ve had field trips before where we weren’t able to go and the school gives us alternate education days,” King told CNN.

Story continues below advertisement

“I found this backpack that a friend had sent me and grabbed it, and said I’m just going to carry her so she can experience this,” she continued.

She explained that Freeman and Ryan had no personal connection before, but he was still willing to carry her daughter for her.

“I don’t think he had any idea what a big impact he was going to make on so many different people.”

Taking to the little girl’s Facebook page, Team Ryan, King shared the touching story, writing that she had been planning an “alternate field trip day” for her daughter when a teacher swooped in and made sure she could join her classmates on the trip to Falls of the Ohio.

“A male teacher reached out and said, ‘I’m happy to tote her around on the falls all day!'” the post reads.

“She is sooooo excited to do this independent from me… We are sooooo blessed to have an ENTIRE school that is so compassionate and empathetic and NEVER make her feel left out.”

Ryan sat comfortably in a carrier on the teacher’s back, who climbed over rock formations so she could take in the view.

Story continues below advertisement

Many social media users who saw the Facebook post were touched by Freeman’s act of kindness.

“I don’t know him, but he must be a wonderful, caring person and great teacher,” one Facebook user wrote.

READ MORE: Edmonton program connects disabled children with adaptive bikes

Another commented: “Love the fact my son is learning from this teacher! Mr. Freeman is a wonderful human being and a great example to all our children at Tully!”

The teacher pictured in the post had more than a few social media fans, with one saying, “I couldn’t love this more! Mr. Freeman, wow, what an amazing human!!”

According to the “about” section of the Team Ryan Facebook page, Ryan has gone through 32 surgeries.

WATCH: Mother speaks after doctors operate on spine of her baby — while it’s still in the womb

Mother speaks after doctors operate on spine of her baby – while it’s still in the womb
Mother speaks after doctors operate on spine of her baby – while it’s still in the womb

She was able to come home five months after being born, according to the Facebook page.

“Ryan is still on oxygen at night [because] of her central sleep apnea,” the page reads. “But she has fought her way through everything else. She has had more obstacles in three years then [sic] most adults have in five lifetimes. And she still wakes up everyday [sic] smiling, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.”
READ MORE: Good Samaritans carry six-year-old Edmonton boy in wheelchair home after snowfall [2018]

Despite the struggles, King wrote on Facebook that it’s important to share these bright stories to inspire others.

Story continues below advertisement

“These are the things that the news should be talking about,” she wrote. “These beautiful people should be shared with the world, to see and inspire.”

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca