Living with a disability comes with a host of challenges. That’s especially true for someone who’s paralyzed. People in this situation have to rely on others to help with even the most basic needs. While that doesn’t mean someone in this situation is unhappy just that they live differently than before.
Ray Drake’s story
In 1989, a man from Des Moines, Iowa became paralyzed. Fortunately, his two older sisters were quick to step up to the plate to provide the assistance he needs. After all, they love their brother and would do anything to make his life better. But even they have limits.
In comes Derecho
This past August 10th is a day the people of Iowa will never forget. These powerful windstorms caused a significant amount of destruction. According to agricultural experts, roughly 40 percent of the state’s crops were wiped out. But there was more damage.
A direct impact on the population
Derecho also left about two million customers without any power. These massive storms spread across almost 770 miles and didn’t let up for about 14 hours. As you can imagine, the destruction left behind was horrific. So many homes and businesses were destroyed.
Another issue with Derecho was all the trees that broke in half, leaving huge piles of branches and leaves everywhere. That included Ray Drake’s backyard. The amount of damage was just too much for his sisters to handle. Now, what were they going to do?
One week later
Even a week after the storms rolled through, more than 70,000 people were still without any electricity. Some had no access to water, as well as healthcare. For Drake, his backyard was a mess. He needed help but had no idea where to turn.
Reaching out for assistance
The sisters thought perhaps they could do something. So, they contacted some of Drake’s high school friends, asking if any of them had a chainsaw. At least that would help clear away some of the larger debris. But one friend, Doug Applegate, who saw photos of the mess thought to himself, “You need more than just one chainsaw.”
Hatching a plan
Applegate knew there was no way the two sisters could do the job alone. That’s when he came up with a brilliant plan. He contacted Roosevelt High School. Quickly, the school’s football team went into action. They were more than happy to pitch in.
The Calvary arrives
In this case, the Calvary was in the form of football players. But here’s the cool part. It was only two hours after Applegate contacted the high school that 30 players showed up at Drake’s home ready to work. Keep in mind, these are teenagers.
The right attitude
These high school boys all had a heart of gold. As one player named Jackson Neary explained, “That’s just what people in Iowa do.” This senior went on to say, “We’re all friendly and help each other out.” Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if all teens had this same attitude?
Grateful beyond words
The outpouring of love from the football players made him cry. As tears streamed down his face, he and his two sisters thanked each one of them. When asked how he felt, Drake responded with, “I’m blessed. I’m blessed.”
These young men did an incredible job. Kudos to these teens who went above and beyond to help a paralyzed man in a time of need. Watch the video below to see just how hard they worked.
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