The Norman Transcript

Education

November 19, 2013

Community rallies to get student a new walker

NORMAN — Monday morning was chilly, and even wrapped in coats, students counted down the minutes until they could hop aboard a warm school bus.

One Longfellow Middle School student’s grandmother, Diana Morrow, decided the cold was too much and her grandson, Bryan Morrow, should count down the minutes inside. So Bryan left his walker in front of his grandmother’s house and went indoors.

When the school bus arrived, the walker wasn’t there; someone had stolen it from the sidewalk in front of Morrow’s home.

Bryan has cerebral palsy and without a walker, he would be confined to his wheelchair. He uses his walker to get around and complete physical therapy.

Fortunately for Bryan, the community has heard his story and rallied behind him. Longfellow Principal Peter Liesenfeld said the outpouring to help Bryan has been amazing.

“We’ve had at least eight complete strangers offer to help pay for a new walker, including individuals, businesses and teachers,” Liesenfeld said.

After finding out early Monday morning about Bryan’s situation from teacher Candi Thornhill, the school went to work finding a solution, Liesenfeld said.

Norman Regional Hospital and the JD McCarty Center both offered to lend equipment to Bryan until a permanent solution could be found. Additionally, physical therapist Amy Laubach worked to find Norman Public School equipment for Bryan.

Currently, Bryan is using a Norman Public School system’s walker to regain his mobility.

Liesenfeld said a new walker was being ordered and could arrive in two to three weeks. Donations keep coming in, though, and Liesenfeld said the additional donations would either be put in a fund for Special Olympics or the school would explore options as to how the money might benefit the Morrow family.

“It’s so wonderful to see people give in a time of tragedy,” Liesenfeld said.

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