NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Dozens of people in New Port Richey, Florida, showed up to watch a 13-year-old boy take a ride on a fire truck.
"He told you he would give you a ride,” said Karen Peck, who works at Home Depot.
"This is awesome,” Gavin Lambert said while honking the horn on the truck.
Pasco County deputies and firefighters showed him a good time, but this wasn’t the only surprise.
Gavin was gifted a new bathroom big enough to fit his wheelchair and to give him a sense of independence. Gavin struggles with a neuromuscular disorder that has robbed him of the ability to walk and talk.
"Our friends and family or what keep us going forward. And just know we are so grateful,” said Dawn Lambert, Gavin’s mom.
Last October, his friends on the River Ridge middle school football team helped pick him up and walk him into the end zone so he could score his first touch down. After that, community members wanted to help him even more.
"I wouldn’t want my mom, at age 13 helping me in the shower in the bathroom, brushing my teeth you know,” said Lambert. “This is huge. This is life-changing for the entire family."
The new bathroom is now ADA compliant and gives him the ability to wash his hands, use the bathroom and shower on his own. It’s an overwhelming gift that will now give Gavin his confidence back.
"Thank you,” he said with tears in his eyes.
"You’re welcome buddy,” Peck responded. "You know Dawn keeps saying 'thank you, thank you' and quite honestly, I’m the thankful one. It’s really my honor to even know them let alone do this for them.”
The bathroom was built by Home Depot and Templar Contracting. They are also redoing the family's roof and landscaping.
This story was originally published by Heather Leigh on WFTS-TV in Tampa.