Fill-in school bus driver builds wheelchair ramp for disabled girl

(WSVN) - A school bus driver went out of his way to help make it easier for a little girl to get around on her wheelchair.

Tom Mitchell is a mechanic who works on school buses in Clarksville, Tenn. Occasionally, he fills in to drive one when needed.

Mitchell’s route picks up special needs children. So when he noticed the mom of a wheelchair-bound little girl named Lydia struggling to get out of her house, he decided to step in to help.

“Everyday she would come out and struggle with this small little area and this aluminum ramp that didn’t go to the top step,” Mitchell said of Lydia’s mom, Verna Despain. “It just seemed like something could be done about it.”

The stone steps outside the house also posed a problem, so Mitchell gathered several friends to build a brand-new ramp to make it easier for the family.

“I called her and it seemed like she was almost in disbelief. She was so excited. Once I told her that I knew no matter what, it had to be done,” he said.

Mitchell got a local Lowe’s store to donate the building materials for the ramp.

Despain said she was overjoyed and grateful for Mitchell and his friends’ handiwork.

“It’s those little things that people take for granted,” Despain said. “And maybe I didn’t even realize my predicament, because I’m so used to doing it solo.”

For his part, Mitchell said he hopes others will be inspired to perform their own random acts of kindness.

“I feel that’s something that everybody should do for everybody else, whether it’s time or money or anything.” Mitchell said.

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