In Oct. 2021, Kimberly Waterbury and her 95-year-old mother, Dottie Schneider, from Chandler, Indiana, traveled to Orange Beach, Ala., for a vacation. Schneider, who is wheelchair bound, was unable to stroll through the sand on her own.
To make the mother’s vacation more enjoyable, a team of lifeguards planned to pick her up from her hotel and transport her to the beach chair set they had hired.
“We are forever indebted to the guys with Orange Beach Surf Rescue,” daughter Waterbury showed her gratefulness. “They made my mother feel special. She was not made to feel like she was a burden on anybody.”
“I have a whole new chapter. She wants to go back!” Waterbury went on to say, according to the AL.com.
Waterbury’s images of the young lifeguards showing such interest in assisting her mum in getting down to the beach went viral. It has been shared more than 9,000 times.
“[Many of us] have grandparents, and I think it was one of those things where [Martin] felt sort of special about it because it reminded him of a grandparent,” said Beach Safety Division Chief Brett Lesinger.
The young men insisted that they were doing a good deed for the community, refusing any tips for that help. “All the pay we need is watching her smile,” said the lifeguards.
The story began on their first day at the beach when Waterbury, who has a damaged wrist, was trying to push her mother’s wheelchair across the sand outside the Holiday Inn Express.
A lifeguard from Orange Beach Surf Rescue paid attention that moment.
The guard offered to drive the mother in his beach patrol car. He even suggested picking her up every morning when she wanted to go to the beach.
“In the past, when they’d gone to the beach, she couldn’t get to the beachfront. They had to sit by the pool deck. Being able to put her feet in the sand and seeing the waves crash on the shore, I think that made all the difference,” Lesinger recalled according to the New York Post.
“Any day she felt like coming down, we wanted to make sure she got there,” the Beach Safety Division Chief added. “We told her to holler if the sun was too much.”