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Kids push paralyzed Akron man's tractor out of a ditch

When Matt Parisi needed help, he never expected kids to answer the call.

KENT, Ohio — People do great things all the time, and that's a wonderful thing. But, it's not every day you see a group of kids coming together to lend a helping hand.

Yet, that's exactly what happened a few weeks ago to Akron native, 24-year-old Matt Parisi.

He was on his lawn route in Kent when his mowing tractor became stuck in a drainage ditch.

"I kind of came in like the wrong angle and bottomed out the mower and I was just stuck there," Matt told us.

Now, being "stuck" may not sound like a big deal, but it is when you're dealing with life-changing challenges, like Matt.

"I shouldn't be here. I almost flat-lined twice," Matt said.

Three years ago, a motorcycle crash left him partially paralyzed. He now relies on crutches to walk. So, getting himself out of that ditch -- not an option.

Soon, help would arrive in the form of a group of kids, ages 8 to 16.

"It was some on the back and then some on the front and then some of us lifted it and then the other ones pulled it," said 16-year-old Codey Fortson of the rescue.

Together, about 13 kids helped push Matt's tractor out of the ditch. The morally mature gesture didn't go unnoticed.

A few days later, Kent school resource and community officers showed up to say thank you the kids.

"From the elementary school, middle school and high school, a bunch of kids came together and got to help somebody out. So, it's really cool, especially because I know all the kids from working at the school. So it was really awesome to hear that they did that," Officer Dominic Poe told us.

"I just wanted to come out with Officer Poe and join in, and tell 'em how proud we are, you know, at the Kent Police Department of them working together, coming together to help somebody in need," said Officer Joe Hadaway.

The lesson, according to the kids is, age doesn't matter when you're doing the right thing.

"If you see somebody else that needs help, help them," said Joshua Thomas, 16.

One thing is for sure, Matt is forever touched by their kind souls.

"For them to come out and do what they did for me, it's just, it warms my heart."


Editor's Note: The below video was from an unrelated story on December 6, 2020.

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