ST. LOUIS — A teenager in south St. Louis has a lot to celebrate after receiving a life changing gift. Kristian Booker, 14, has cerebral palsy. He lives with his grandmother, Vinita Booker. Their home is not wheelchair accessible.
Every day, Vinita, who goes by G'ma, carried her grandson down the steps and loaded him into the school bus. Last year, their family started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for a ramp.
5 On Your Side learned about their efforts and featured them in a story back in November.
The image of G'ma carrying Kristian down the steps tugged at the hearts of so many people. After our story aired, viewers and companies called and emailed the station wanting to help.
PARIC construction company offered to pay for the entire project.
“I heard the story and I immediately wanted to help," Bill Willman, with PARIC said.
Willman said they were able to get all the necessary permits to begin construction in February. It took his crews three weeks to complete.
“We’re just so happy,” said G'ma.
On Wednesday, friends, family and PARIC employees watched Kristian go down the ramp for the very first time before school.
“It’s life changing for Kristian. I just love it. I’m so happy,” said G'ma.
In addition to the ramp, PARIC surprised the family with tickets to a Cardinals’ game as well as Red Bird t-shirt with PARIC written on the back.
All of the money that was raised in the GoFundMe page will be used to create a wheelchair accessible bathroom, according to G'ma.