Big Kids

Disabled girl struggles with Easter egg hunt until kind stranger steps in

Jessica Everett Byrd, like so many mums, took her little girl to an Easter egg hunt last weekend. 

Taking place in their local zoo in Mississippi,  all the hunt areas were cordoned off according to age as well as a special needs area. 

That's where Jessica took Eliza, who has Spina Bifida and is wheelchair bound. 

Her parents helped Eliza gather as many eggs as they could, but in the hustle and bustle of the excitement, little Eliza got left behind. 

"It came time to go get the eggs and all the kids just started running and clearing the area of eggs. By the time we got to them, James was able to pick up a few and we had to dodge kids to get some eggs for Eliza’s basket.

"Only one child took pause as she approached a lone egg that we were in front of, and she looked at Eliza and then down at the egg, and decided to go get another one." 

The experience left her mother feeling "defeated":  

"In the car we were discussing topics like ‘being first’ and ‘getting the most’ and where does human greed start. And how parents are teaching their kids these things. And I made the argument that if we want equal rights and for Eliza to be ‘treated equally’ then, unfortunately, things like this were going to be a part of all that.

"She’s not going to be first, she’s going to get trampled over some times, and sometimes other kids are going to make good choices and sometimes they won’t." 

Just as they were about to leave the zoo, they heard an announcement, there were still two golden eggs left in the zoo. But they had given up the hunt and instead took Eliza to play in splash pad. Sudeenly, a strange teenager walked up to them. 

"Eliza was having a blast at the splash pad, and mommy was taking pictures of her (surprise, surprise) when this kid and his friends came walking up to us.

"He had something in his hand and said, ‘Hey, so…I found this egg and if you turn it in they will give you a prize. I wanted to give it to your daughter if that’s ok. I don’t know what they will give her, but she can take it up there and find out.’" 

Touched by the stranger's kindness, Jessica says that the young man's thoughtfulness "restored her faith in humanity": 

"I repeatedly thanked him and asked if I could take his picture. He squatted down (I love it when people squat to be on her level) next to Eliza and gave her the egg and she just smiled so big and said, ‘Oh, thank you!’ – I can’t even today.

"My faith in humanity (and in particular the younger generation) was restored with this cheap, plastic egg and the heart of this young man. So, if anyone happens to know him, please share this so he will know just how important his ‘good deed’ really was." 

The post went viral, and luckily the kind young man was found after his own mother commented on the picture. 

Named Cody Reed, the zoo has given him a free pass for a year thanks to his selflessness and "wants to take Eliza to the zoo with one of those visits!”

Speaking to Love What Matters,  Jessica said that little Eliza touches hearts everywhere she goes. 

"We have this awesome kiddo that is smart as a whip and steals hearts everywhere she goes. She’s smart, she’s funny and it’s just an absolute joy to be her parent.

"We have our down days where disability woes get the best of us, but then things like this happen and we know that we were given such an amazing gift…She touches hearts and restores faith to everyone she meets.”

People of all ages have been blown away by this simple act generosity. 

Our faith in humanity is well and truly restored! 

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