South Fort Myers HS students surprise classmate with new wheelchair

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 06:43:06-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A South Fort Myers High School student received a surprise of a lifetime Tuesday afternoon thanks to his fellow classmates.

The National Honor Society at the school using money raised during its annual fundraiser along with a GoFundMe account to buy classmate Trey Jackson a new wheelchair. 

“I’m going to cry, it’s just so awesome,” said Trey's teacher Kim Bathney.

Teachers and students alike said they can't think of anyone more deserving. For years, Trey Jackson has used the same wheelchair to get around South Fort Myers HS. However, the wheelchair is falling apart with noticeable rips and tears to the seat cushion. 

“And every time I saw him I could see that his wheelchair was kind of not in the best condition for him,’’ said student Gabrielle Taveras. 

In November, the National Honor Society at school decided to take an annual fundraiser and instead of donate the funds to a cause within the community, use it to help someone closer to home. 

“I’ve taught at a lot of schools but there’s a wonderful sense of pride here amongst the students to help each other and be there and to support each other,” said NHS supervisor Bethany Loescher Lloyd.

The group also created a GoFundMe and said within days of the word spreading, money started pouring in.  “We got $1,000 and all of a sudden one night it skyrocketed up to $8,000 and $9,000, and we are all very thankful to everyone who was able to donate,” said student and NHS treasurer Grace Pham. 

On Tuesday, the group was able to give Trey Jackson his new wheelchair with a surprise party in the school's cafeteria. 

“I mean I know me and our vice president starting crying so it makes me feel really good,” said student and NHS President Mikayla Holton.

Jackson's mom was also in attendance and said she is grateful for the support her son has received through all of this.  “I’m so glad that the kids care about my son, like I said he’s such a fun loving guy,” said Jackson's mom Catherine Jackson.

The NHS ended up raising $12,193 and plan to help another student in need with the money left over.