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Teacher carries student with paralyzing spinal condition so she can go on an outdoor field trip


'My heart just melted'

Image source: CBS News video screenshot

Ryan King, a fourth grader who is wheelchair-bound due to spina bifida, was able to participate in an outdoor field trip thanks to the kindness of a teacher at her school who volunteered to carry her on his back, "Good Morning America" reported.

Ryan, who is 10, has not let her condition keep her from many things. She plays golf, dances ballet, and participates in pageants and fashion shows. But this particular field trip was going to be a problem for her.

Her class was visiting the Falls of Ohio State Park. Sometimes, when her class goes on field trips that are not wheelchair accessible, Ryan has to go on alternative trips with her mother. Ryan's mother, Shelly, said those trips are fine, but not the same as going on the main trip with her friends.

"She doesn't want me hovering all the time," King said. "She wants to be able to hang out with her friends."

That's when Jim Freeman, a fourth-grade teacher at Tully Elementary School (he is not Ryan's teacher), heard about Ryan's situation and her desire to go on this field trip. Knowing he's a "bigger guy" capable of doing so, he volunteered to carry her on his back through the park.

It was no small task, either. On a hot, 90-degree day, Freeman carried the 50-pound girl on his back for more than an hour through the park until they reached an area where she could navigate on her own.

"A little time out of my day and a little extra effort can give Ryan something to remember," Freeman said.

Ryan and her mother were extremely appreciative.

"I felt really blessed and special, and I felt good that I got to go on the field trip with my friends," Ryan said.

"When you see someone who's willing to go out of their way and physically exhaust themselves just to make sure she's included, that meant the most to me," King said. "You don't deal with this every day."

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

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