Logan Moore is a merry young toddler from Cedartown, Georgia, who also happens to have a health issue that limits his mobility. He gets around as best he can unaided, but what he really needed was something to assist his movement. With this in mind, his parents Christian and Justin decided to try and get him a walker.
Such a simple item would improve Logan’s quality of life and independence, so the family sought financial aid. To be specific, they contacted their medical insurance provider about acquiring a walker for their son. However, assistance wasn’t forthcoming any time soon, so the Moores took a more personal approach.
That is to say, Justin and Christian began looking into making little Logan’s walker themselves. With the help of the internet, they gathered information regarding the required materials and how to construct it. Armed with this information, the family then headed to a store that they thought could provide everything they required: Home Depot.
Christian and Justin subsequently took a trip together to their nearest Home Depot with Logan accompanying them. So they entered the store and requested assistance from the staff. But the staff members’ reaction to their request was astonishing – and it had social media buzzing with activity.
But before we delve into the surprise that the Home Depot staff had, let’s learn more about the Moore family. Toddler Logan lives together with his dad Justin and mom Christian in Cedartown, Georgia, which lies close to Alabama. Christian told Good Morning America in May 2019 that her son is “a very happy little boy.”
Just like most boys his age, Logan spends time with his toys and he loves to swim. However, he has limited mobility when it comes to walking as a result of a health problem. Specifically, he has a condition called hypotonia, which is the technical term for reduced muscle tone.
Hypotonia isn’t a condition in its own right – it’s actually a consequence of other medical issues. Indeed, a number of things could result in hypotonia and it’s more akin to a symptom. Furthermore, a significant amount of illnesses that cause it are inherited, but that’s not always the case.
Neurology related disorders such as cerebral palsy can lead to hypotonia, so it’s often linked to disorders of the brain. It’s also occasionally present in babies born early, since their muscle tone hasn’t had the opportunity to form properly. Furthermore, certain severe illnesses like meningitis can cause hypotonia symptoms.
So what exactly does hypotonia do – and why does it limit the movement of those who suffer from it? Well, fully functioning muscles always have some stored tension in them to keep your body upright. Even when you feel relaxed, your muscles are doing their thing to stop you falling down.
However, hypotonia has nothing to do with muscle strength, as the issue lies with the nervous system. In fact, no amount of exercising or changes in diet will change it. Furthermore, with the condition, muscles don’t contract and relax like healthy ones, making them seem floppy and loose.
Indeed, if an infant is overly limp in your hands, it’s a sign they could have hypotonia. Consequently, you may know the ailment by its other frequently-used name: floppy baby syndrome. So can hypotonia be treated or cured in any way? Well, it all depends on how sufferers contracted the symptoms initially.
For infants who have hypotonia symptoms as a result of a premature birth, then yes – it lessens with age. In a similar way, if the health condition is symptomatic of an illness which is properly treated, there’s also a possibility for improvement. On the other hand, in many cases the origin of hypotonia is currently incurable.
For those children that inherit hypotonia, the symptoms will persist and either slowly improve or get worse. Regardless of how long a person suffers from it, though, their movement will be affected for the duration. And that brings us right back to little Logan and his parents’ desire to improve his quality of life.
With this in mind, the Moore family decided to look at getting Logan a child’s walker in 2019. Unfortunately, what their inquiries revealed weren’t very promising. One medical aid company’s online store prices its crocodile gait-type walker at $666, for instance. Therefore, the family turned to their medical insurers.
However, the Moores had no luck with their insurance company either, as Christian wrote on Facebook. She said, “[Logan’s] insurance is being ridiculous and [the walkers] are very expensive.” So with no other alternative, Logan’s parents thought outside the box and opted to make a frame themselves.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, medical walkers are essentially a metal frame, sometimes with wheels. The extra support allows people with disabilities to get around more easily and freely. And such a tool would certainly help a growing child like Logan to support his weight and stand upright when he needs to.
But where would you even start searching for building instructions for something like that? Well, thankfully social media came to the rescue. Christian and Justin found the solution fairly quickly on YouTube, with the former adding to CNN in May 2019, “I found a video that looked pretty easy.”
It turns out that inventive YouTubers are helping people build walkers at affordable prices using common DIY materials. For instance, in the tutorial that the Moores found, they substituted the metal of the frame with PVC piping. So, armed with this knowledge, Logan’s family set out to gather materials at a local store.
To that end, the Moores visited their town’s Home Depot. Jeffery Anderson, an area manager working for the company, continued the story on Facebook. He wrote, “So today a lady and her mother and husband came in telling us that the insurance company may or may not pay for their little boy’s walker…”
Jeffrey continued, “… So they went on the internet and found plans to make one out of PVC pipe so my store manager heard about this and we went over to them, looked at their plans and said, ‘We got this…’” Indeed, Home Depot gave the Moores far more than simple product advice.
Specifically, the staff told the Moore family to go out and have some ice cream. They requested an hour’s time to get things ready – and boy were the Moores surprised when they got back. Indeed, Home Depot employees went above and beyond the call of duty for Logan.
During the Moore’s ice cream break, more Home Depot staff had caught wind of what the family wanted. As a result, they all looked over the DIY walker plans and got to work building it for Logan. And an hour later when the toddler returned with his parents and grandma, a wonderful surprise waited for him.
Thanks to the teamwork of Home Depot’s staff, they’d finished Logan’s entire walker while the Moores were away. They came back to the PVC pipe frame they wanted, all ready-made and good to go. The employees had even decorated the walker in a special manner with Logan in mind.
For their part, the Home Depot staff had constructed the toddler’s walking aid using a combination of bright materials. The workers had colored the walker’s wheels and PVC frame an intense orange, connecting them with white joints and tips. In addition, they added a little personal touch by writing Logan’s name on the front in black lettering.
And the Home Depot staff members’ handywork left the Moores astonished, as Christian revealed to CNN. He said, “I couldn’t believe they were willing to do that. It took everything I had not to cry because it hasn’t been an easy road for my son. He has had a hard time doing things that would be easy for most children his age.”
Christian added, “There are so many children out there with hypotonia, more than you would think. I am grateful to be able to share that there are still good people around to help.” But what what was the reaction from the Home Depot staff and Logan to the store’s selfless gesture?
Well, the Inside Edition uploaded a video to its YouTube channel in May 2019 that answers those questions and more. It captures the moment when Home Depot staff give Logan his walker and it begins with the two-year-old’s response. The footage reveals him standing with the aid of the walker and wearing the biggest grin on his face.
As Logan takes his first recorded steps with his new frame, a voice off-camera says, “Look at that smile!” And judging by the expression on his face, the little boy can’t believe his newfound mobility. Christian described the event as “amazing,” a sentiment that Logan would almost certainly agree with.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Logan’s mother added, “We were shocked and amazed that it turned out so well. He is still very unstable, but he is walking with the walker a lot more.” And according to Jeffrey Anderson’s social media post, the occasion moved all the Home Depot staff involved to tears.
But that wasn’t the end of Home Depot’s kindness, as Jeffrey explained. He said, “Everyone was crying to see Logan walk around with the biggest smile on his face and when the family tried to pay us we said no way this one is on us.” That’s right – they gifted Logan the walker for free.
Unsurprisingly such a heart-warming story went viral, with the general public praising Home Depot and its employees. One user wrote on Facebook, “That grin is priceless, just like the hearts that built it.” Another added, “You guys are amazing, that gorgeous huge smile says it all.”
On the other hand, there were also those that saw a more worrying message behind the story. Congressman Seth Moulton, for example, responded to Fox News, which shared the story on Twitter with the message, “This is awesome!” The politician then retweeted it with the statement, “It’s awesome that the Home Depot employees did this. It’s horrifying that they had to.”
Many other social media pundits echoed Moulton’s statement, shaming the U.S. healthcare system for its alleged lack of action. One tweeted, “Yes, why did they have to? Where is our government?” Meanwhile, another added, “What’s not awesome is that medical insurance wasn’t there for this wee one.”
They continued, “The [Home Depot] employees deserve applause, the government and healthcare powers deserve a slap!” And for its part, Fox News experienced similar reactions to its coverage. In fact, the majority of the comments suggested anger towards American healthcare prices.
“The awesome thing here is that every response is appalled by what an embarrassing dystopia we’ve created for ourselves,” a tweeter stated. Yet another person commented, “This sh** isn’t cute, I don’t get why they push them as feel good stories. Like, families shouldn’t have to worry about this.”
And it isn’t just Twitter users who have pointed out how people rely on the kindness of strangers for medical needs, either. In June 2019 the Huffington Post also investigated the issue, revealing some statistics from crowdfunding site GoFundMe. It reported how medical insurance is so high that people are turning to crowdfunding to supplement their healthcare costs.
GoFundMe figures found that from 2010 to 2017 people contributed a total of $5 billion – and a third of that was money went to medical-related causes. Not only that, but 2018 saw incredible amounts of cash provided to people in need of financial support. According to a West Health/Gallup survey, Americans borrowed a total of $88 billion to cover healthcare costs.
However, some people were not so lucky and couldn’t gather funds from other sources. And figures from the American Journal of Public Health show how serious this matter is. In the period spanning 2013 to 2016 of all the U.S. citizens that filed for bankruptcy, 59 percent of them blamed medical expenses.
Rob Solomon, CEO and founder of GoFundMe also addressed the topic in an interview with Kaiser Health News in January 2019. He said, “The system is terrible. It needs to be rethought and retooled. Politicians are failing us. Health care companies are failing us. Those are realities. I don’t want to mince words here. We are facing a huge potential tragedy.”
Fortunately, the story ended well for Logan and his family, as Home Depot’s Jeffrey Anderson later revealed on Facebook. He stated that the Moore’s insurance came through in the end and granted Logan a walker. But with Americans raising legitimate concerns about U.S. healthcare costs, many are calling for fundamental changes to the current system.