Fans of Chick-fil-A in the Mobile, Alabama area might have been a little confused when they saw a line of cars at the drive-thu this past Sunday. While the fast food giant shutters its doors in honor of each Lord’s Day, it has been known to make a few special exceptions.
Parents of children with special needs aren’t strangers to needing a little extra accommodation, but sometimes it can be hard to reach out and ask for it. Chick-fil-A, on the other hand, is no stranger to going the extra mile for their customers in big or small ways.
So, when 14-year-old Elijah Sprague had a unique birthday dream on his heart, Chick-fil-A was an answer to prayer.
Elijah was born a micropreemie at just 22 weeks gestation. His biological mother gave birth at home shortly before transporting him to the NICU at University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital, where Rene Sprague was working as a nurse.
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During Elijah’s six-month stay in the NICU, his care team discovered several brain bleeds that eventually led to cerebral palsy and autism. Elijah was slated to be placed in foster care upon discharge from the hospital, but Rene and her husband Patrick stepped in.
“We decided to take him,” she recalled. “He was ours the minute we brought him home.”
Due to the severity of his condition, a neurologist warned the Spragues that it would be a miracle if Elijah saw his first birthday. By the grace of God, Elijah did have his first birthday, and his second, third, fourth, all the way up to last week when he celebrated his fourteenth birthday.
There are many things Elijah loves, his mom shared with AL.com, but Chick-fil-A and its drive-thru rank pretty high on the list, so it seems like providence that his uncle, Walt Gilstrap, happens to be the manager of one of the restaurant’s Mobile locations.
When Rene asked Walt if they could blow Elijah away with a Chick-fil-A birthday party at the restaurant outside of business hours, she was thrilled that he, and the restaurant’s owner Glen Rosson, said yes!
Walt and his girlfriend went in early to make cookies that Elijah proudly handed to his friends, along with drinks, through the drive-through window. Elijah received his own Chick-fil-A polo shirt and a name tag, and his guests came inside to play in the indoor playground.
Since his party, he keeps asking to go back to see “Walk,” as he calls his uncle, at “Lay,” as he refers to Chick-fil-A.
“He’s a really funny kid,” [Rene] says of Elijah, whose actual birthday was Jan. 4. “We have a great community of people who support him.”
Could Chick-fil-A possibly do anything to make us love them more? What an incredible blessing to this young man!
MUST SEE: Brave Alaskan Helps Baby Moose Navigate Highway Barrier
Normally, stories about moose on the highway don’t end this well.
Alaska is a state like no other. It’s still a veritably untamed place, where the weather and the wildlife are both out to get you. It takes a special kind of person to hack it in America’s last frontier. A simple run to the grocery store can be hazardous in some conditions, and just taking the garbage out at night may find you face-to-face with hundreds of pounds of brown bear. But ask any Alaskan what they hope to avoid the most, and many will tell you it’s the moose that you have to worry about. These creatures are simply enormous, and they have just enough of an attitude to be more than a nuisance when confronted. Combine that with the fact that plenty of Alaskans are killed each year after automotive collisions with these gargantuan animals, and you have a real recipe for trouble. This week, however, a different sort of moose story made headlines, and with some adorable photos to show for it. Last week, pictures of a man in Alaska lifting a moose calf over a highway guardrail were posted on Facebook. According to Andrea N Salty Bock, who posted the pictures on Facebook, the calf and its mother were near Clam Gulch, on the Kenai Peninsula. The mother was apparently trying to get her baby to go over the guardrail, but it was too tall for the calf. “Traffic stopped to give her the room she needed,” the Facebook post said. “But the calf could not clear the guardrail.” The photos were captivating. Authorities, while thankful that the moose was able to continue on its way, warned that the situation was still a dangerous one, despite the size and age of this animal.
VIRAL VIDEO: Hockey Fans Belt US National Anthem in Stirring Moment
The moment was simply magical.
For as much controversy as has been manufactured around the National Anthem, there is still nothing quite like witnessing a powerful rendition of a song that brings so many of us pride here in the United States. In the annals of sports history, there are but a few moments of anthemic joy that stand atop the list, with this author’s personal favorite being the incredibly salient and pointed version performed by Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl in 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lCmBvYMRs Now, 30 years and some months later, another unforgettable anthem moment has arrived. Nassau Coliseum was roaring with energy Wednesday night as fans in attendance belted out the National Anthem before the New York Islanders Game 6 victory over the Boston Bruins in a viral moment that is sure to give anyone chills. Nicole Raviv regularly sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Isles games at the Coliseum but on Wednesday night she was overpowered by the crowd, even turning over the microphone to the fans. “My heart is full. The coliseum will forever have the best backup singers in the #NHL,” Raviv wrote on Twitter. A moment like this was made for social media, and it soon spread like wildfire. https://twitter.com/NHLonNBCSports/status/1402773091672068098?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1402773091672068098%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fsports%2Fislanders-fans-national-anthem-viral-game-6-bruins The fans were ready, however, after a microphone glitch forced them to join in on the anthem just two games earlier.
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