When there is heavy snowfall, many of us would opt to stay inside the comfort of our homes as much as possible. Driving on slippery roads and facing the cold during a blizzard is just unthinkable and most of all, dangerous. But for a woman in New Jersey who needs regular dialysis treatment, braving the roads despite the oncoming snowstorm is not a matter of choice – it is a matter of life and death.
Natalie Blair depended on dialysis treatments for her life. So when the Sunday evening weather forecast up to eight inches of snow the following morning, she knew that she had a bigger problem: she had dialysis treatment scheduled on Monday and she couldn’t miss it.
Thankfully, her kind neighbor Brian Lanigan – who had shoveled her driveway after a storm a few days earlier – was aware of Natalie’s need to receive her scheduled dialysis treatment. Brian works as a local EMT, and he knew that he would be on duty on the day that the snowstorm will strike. So he delegated the task of shoveling the Blair family’s driveway on his younger brother, Patrick.
The high school senior accepted without hesitation and reached out to four of his friends at Parsippany High School to help him out.
Gladly, his pals Justin Stanton, Chris Leibfred, Tyler Grieco, and Amon Sharafi answered his calls. They volunteered to spend the night at the Lanigan house just so they could wake up at 4:30 a.m. to start shoveling. With their joined efforts, it took them less than 30 minutes to clear the driveway so Natalie can make it to her dialysis treatment on time.
The students hoped that their town would cancel classes because of the snowstorm, but they ended up just having a two-hour delayed opening. It was just enough time for them to rest and catch up on a few hours of sleep before heading to school.
Patrick’s father, Peter, who felt extremely proud of the boys’ selfless act, took a picture of them lined up while holding their shovels in the dark of the early morning.
He posted the picture on his Twitter, captioning: “Snow Angels disguised as PHS Srs, Justin, Pat, Chris, Tyler & Amon got up super early 4:30 (really never slept) to shovel a driveway for a neighbor who needed to get to dialysis”
Peter’s tweet gained a lot of attention, and he says that his son Patrick was humbled by all of it.
The proud father said that this act of kindness was not out of character for Patrick, who he described as a “small kid with a big heart.” In fact, Patrick is also active in his church and is a “peer buddy” at school, tasked with mentoring students on the autism spectrum.
What an incredible act of kindness from these boys! Despite the cold that the snowy weather caused, these five boys were able to warm Natalie’s heart, all while taking a part in saving her life.
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