MONTAUK, NY - One young lifeguard brought a ray of sunshine to this 94-year-old woman’s day.
When Janet Dunne’s elderly mother wasn’t able to join them on the beach during vacation in Montauk, New York, because of mobility issues, she contacted the local Chamber of Commerce to see if they could point her in the right direction of getting a beach wheelchair to assist.
“Other years we had walked her down and each taken a side,” Dunne, of Bethel, Connecticut, told ABC News of her elderly mother. “There were stairs, but this year they took the stairs away. My sister-in-law and I knew we’d never get her down there. She’d sit at the house until noon, and then we’d take her to sit at the pool and we’d check on her every 45 minutes but we felt bad.”
The chamber suggested Dunne contact the lifeguards on duty about the wheelchairs, and she did so, to no avail.
“They didn’t have any more available,” she recalled.
But the guard she spoke to, Shane McCann, wasn’t going to let that keep her mom from enjoying the ocean. McCann went above and beyond -- offering personal door-to-door delivery for the elderly woman, Tracy Dunne, so she could see her beloved waves.
“Shane was there and he said, ‘I’ll pick your mom up,’ and pointed to the dune buggy,” said Dunne, blown away by his kindness. “My mom was game, so he picked her up right at her room. But he didn’t just pick her up. He got out and gave her both of his hands and helped her in and he was just wonderful. He brought her right down to where we were sitting.”
The gentle gesture meant so much to Dunne that after they got home from vacation, she contacted the Chamber again to let them know how wonderful the young man had treated them. She included a heartwarming photo of Tracy and Shane beaming with happiness on the dune buggy, which has now gone viral, with hundreds of shares on Facebook.
“I am proud of him. He’s a really, really good boy with integrity,” said Shane’s mom, Jenna McCann. “That doesn’t surprise me at all with how he handled that situation. I think he’s sensitive to having respect for his elders. His grandmother has Alzheimer’s and he’s watched her demise and it’s given him appreciation. He’s always been a good boy.”
McCann was so proud of her son that she shared the letter Dunne had written to the Chamber of Commerce on her Facebook page, and hearts have melted on the internet.
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“She really wanted to ‘see the waves’ but we didn't think it would be possible,” Dunne wrote in the letter.
But luckily, thanks to one teenager’s kindness, her mother was the happiest woman on the beach that day.
“It meant the world that my mom got to go down there and enjoy,” she said. “It might be her last year going, so the fact she got to sit there with us for the even a couple of hours, it meant the world.”
Report from ABC News.
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