Natalie Blair needs a kidney transplant, so dialysis is a non-negotiable part of her life. On March 4, she learned that she is blessed to have neighbors who think about her, even in the wee hours of the morning.
Brothers Brian and Patrick Lanigan live near Blair and Brian, an EMT, had shoveled her driveway during a previous storm.
Brian knew an oncoming winter storm threatened to heap up to eight inches of snow in their community, but this time around, he would be at work and unable to shovel Blair’s driveway.
Brian turned to his younger brother, Patrick, who stepped up and volunteered for the job.
Patrick, a student at Parsippany High School, began asking his friends if anybody would be willing to wake up early and help him.
Four of his fellow high school seniors said they would help: Justin Stanton, Chris Leibfred, Tyler Grieco and Amon Sharafi.
The boys spent the night at Patrick’s house — though it is anybody’s guess as to how much sleep the boys actually got — and were ready at 4:30 a.m. to shovel snow in the cold.
Patrick’s father, Peter Lanigan, said the boys completed the job in just 30 minutes. He took a photo of Patrick and his friends and posted it on Twitter, calling them “snow angels disguised as PHS Srs.”
Snow Angels disguised as PHS Srs, Justin, Pat, Chris, Tyler & Amon got up super early 4:30 (really never slept) to shovel a driveway for a neighbor who needed to get to dialysis #Goodboys #MooMoo #hopingforasnowday pic.twitter.com/ZMMWbrBRlR
— Peter Lanigan (@TweeterLanigan) March 4, 2019
The students were hoping for a snow day but had to settle for a two-hour delay instead, giving them time for a quick nap before school.
Blair was pleasantly surprised by the boys’ kind actions.
“I looked out the front window and I’m like, the whole driveway is clear,” Blair told WABC-TV. “And then I found out from my husband there were four of them with Patrick. Oh, there were five of you, seriously?”
The boys never expected the Twitter photo to go viral, but Peter Lanigan said the experience has been humbling for his son.
Lanigan described Patrick as a “small kid with a big heart” who is active in his church and serves as a peer buddy for students on the autism spectrum at school.
Blair made it to her appointment safe and sound thanks to Patrick and his friends.
“When I came out here at 6 a.m., the whole driveway was completely clear so I could get out,” Blair said. “And I did. I got to dialysis safely.”
“Patrick’s a wonderful young man. He’s an example of what we have that we never talk about.”
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