Brittney Hinkley is a mom from Waco, Texas, and she has a very special little boy indeed. His name is Oliver, and he’s totally adorable. Hinkley recently described her first born child as her “little miracle,” and there’s an amazing reason why.
When Hinkley was still pregnant, doctors told her the sort of news that no parent ever wants to hear. At 20 weeks, she was told that her baby was not going to be totally normal. Not only that, but they warned her that she should not even expect her son to be able to walk.
The name of his condition is spina bifida myelomeningocele. Babies born with it have a neural tube that isn’t fully closed. This means that neural tissue ends up being exposed, forming a growth on the baby’s back. Doctors still don’t fully understand what causes it.
Little Oliver was also born with talipes, a condition more commonly known as club foot. Although he began crawling aged one – something that doctors had said was not to be expected – Oliver still needed lots of physical therapy to get him walking.
Hinkley was able to get her son some treatment on her insurance, but unfortunately there were limitations. In January, 2018, Hinkley posted a Facebook status about Oliver’s therapy. She told her friends that she had had to “cut back” on his treatment “due to insurance.”
So, in order to continue Oliver’s treatment from the comfort of their home, Hinkley hatched a plan. She and her son headed to Home Depot, where they could get everything that they would need. Upon entering the store, a worker came to offer assistance.
What happened during that trip to Home Depot was so remarkable that Hinkley wrote a Facebook post about it. And before long, she made an appearance on KWTX News 10 to discuss exactly what had happened. The story featured on the show’s segment called “Tell Me Something Good.”
Hinkley asked the member of staff, who was named Joe Espinosa, for some help finding some PVC pipes. She wanted to create a frame that Oliver could hold onto while learning to walk. But Espinosa did more than simply show Hinkley around the store. In fact, he did a whole lot more.
Hinkley showed Espinosa photographs of the type of frame that she wanted to create for Oliver. And when he saw what the mom was trying to do, he made a helpful suggestion. He said that narrower pipes would be a better fit for Oliver’s hands.
But on top of showing Hinkley to the correct aisle, Espinosa did every bit that he could to help. There’s no doubt that he went above and beyond his job description that day. According to Hinkley, Espinosa told her and Oliver to take a walk around the store for half an hour.
So they did. And in the meantime, Espinosa worked some of his magic. While Hinkley and Oliver were browsing the store, Espinosa had gone to gather all the parts that they needed to make the frame. When they met up again, he did something invaluable for them.
Speaking on KWTX News 10, Hinkley explained how Espinosa had told them to come and find him again, as soon as he had gotten all the materials together. This was because he wanted to show Hinkley how to assemble the structure, so that she could build it independently at home.
There’s no doubt that Espinosa’s actions were very kind indeed, and certainly not service as standard in plenty of other homeware stores. Someone took a photograph of the three of them smiling with the newly-built frame, and it is truly heartwarming to behold.
When Hinkley spoke to KWTX News 10 about the incident, she couldn’t help but expressing admiration for Espinosa. “It hits the heart, it was really a surprise. We went in there not expecting anything like that,” she said to the reporter.
But there was even more to the story than that. Not only did Espinosa take the time out of his day to help a little boy he’d never even met before, but the store also gave away the items free of charge. And to Espinosa, it was no big deal at all.
“Seeing that little boy whipping around here in the store, and just seeing him so full of life and everything, I had to do everything I could to make things happen for him,” Espinosa humbly told KWTX News 10 after the TV station got a hold of the heartwarming story.
Soon after a video report of Espinosa’s kind actions hit Facebook, people started commenting in their droves. It seems that the story tugged at the internet’s heartstrings. “He went above and beyond for this little angel,” wrote one person, before adding, “Bless this man’s heart.”
Hinkley, who runs a Facebook page dedicated to her son’s progress, also publicly thanked Espinosa and the Home Depot team for being so kind. “I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping this little family out,” she wrote on her personal page.
“Our Sweet Oliver” is the name of Hinkley’s little corner of the internet where she spreads awareness of spina bifida. The second aim of the page is to let other families with the same diagnosis see “the love, fight and happiness in Oliver,” in order to give them strength for their own journey.
Now that word of the heartwarming trip to Home Depot continues to spread around the web, there’s no doubt that more and more people are learning about Oliver’s condition. Not only that, but the story of Espinosa’s kindheartedness also serves to remind us all that there are still good people left in the world.