EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Back in March, we brought you the story of an East Liverpool toddler with a disorder so rare, he’s one of just three kids in the world who has been diagnosed. Now, the East Liverpool community has come together to bring him some joy around the holidays.
When we interviewed Za’kari’s parents back in March, they said his favorite things were cartoons and fire trucks. They said he watches them go by outside his window every day.
On Sunday, Za’kari had the time of his life when those fire trucks stopped to visit him.
“We just wanted to do something small for him so we planned we were going to take the trucks and turn the lights on for him,” said Alex Estell, an East Liverpool firefighter.
Za’kari’s mom, Heather McCune, says their mailman, Rob Morrow, sees Za’kari watching the trucks and contacted the city to set up the visit.
Firefighters Joshua Coil and Alex Estell even brought Za’kari some picture books about fire trucks and a toy fire truck to go along with it.
“Just provide a little bit for Za’kari and see what we could do to kind of brighten up his Christmas a little bit,” Estell said.
The fire department has seen Za’kari’s dad, John Scott, taking him for walks around town for some time.
“He’s always smiling, singing a song. His son, just following suit, loving life and he always tries to stop by and see the trucks any time he can,” Coil said.
Coil and Estell say it brightens their own days to know they can bring a little joy to Za’kari’s life.
“A lot of times, we deal with more tragedy being fire and EMA. It’s a lot of tragedy and bad times. So to get a chance to bring joy to somebody in town and cheer a family up, it’s been awesome,” Coil said.
The fire department gave Za’kari a junior firefighter shirt with a patch and ornament. They also donated some gift certificates to the family.
Za’kari’s mom says he is learning to walk longer and use sign language, and is the happiest he’s ever been.