Saturday 19 October 2019

High school student saves for two years to buy electric wheelchair for friend

Tanner saved money from his part-time job, not even telling his mother of his plans.

Brandon Qualls and Tanner Wilson (Caddo Hills School District/Facebook)
Brandon Qualls and Tanner Wilson (Caddo Hills School District/Facebook)

By Ali Mason and Edd Dracott, Press Association

Two students have soared to online fame after one saved up for two years to buy a motorised wheelchair for the other.

Brandon Qualls, who has been using a hand-push wheelchair for years, had no idea what was about to happen when he was called up for a presentation ceremony during class at Caddo Hills High School in Arkansas.

His friend Tanner Wilson had a surprise for him: an electric wheelchair.

“They came in and my face just blew up,” Brandon told local television channel KWTV. “I was just crying everywhere. I was like, ‘Wow I can’t believe he did that for me’.

“It’s been my dream to just have one of these.”

Tanner saved up two years’ worth of money from his part-time job as a local car mechanic, not even telling his mother of his plans.

We would like to share some love. Today Tanner Wilson, Caddo Hill’s Senior, surprised his fellow classmate Brandon...

Posted by Caddo Hills School District on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The pair’s teacher, Justin Neil, said the story has attracted worldwide attention and is the “first time ever” they have seen something like this at the school.

“Tanner has shown great friendship and kindness in this endeavour,” the 28-year-old told the Press Association.

“He has had hardship in recent years, but he has shown no matter what life throws, being kind is the best way.”

Tanner played down the act of kindness, saying he just wanted to do something nice for his friend.

“He’s just been a really good friend and I wanted to do him a favour,” he told CNN. “I just felt like I needed to do it.

“Brandon, he’s just always been there for me.”

Mr Neil added that the school has received calls from “almost every continent” about the story.

“In the current times that we are in there is hatred everywhere we turn,” he said. “This is a great positive moment.”

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