No wonder Hayden Myers wants to become a firefighter
Amanda Myers is thankful for so much.
A couple years ago, Amanda posted a simple picture of her son and daughter on Facebook and remarked that just being able to take the photo made her the luckiest mom in the world.
Her son, Hayden, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, but has recovered to the point that he only has to get a precautionary MRI every six months. This June will mark two years showing no signs of the tumor.
It’s no wonder, even as a six-year-old, Hayden wants to become a firefighter, or go into some form of emergency response.
He’s lived it.
Amanda takes the traditional first day and last day of school pictures of Hayden holding a chalkboard with what he wants to become someday.
He started out wanting to be a turtle, so these things are obviously flexible.
Then a garbage man.
“Ever since he was four, he’s wanted to become a firefighter,” said Amanda.
Hayden was diagnosed when Amanda was pregnant with the family’s second child, a daughter, Oakley. Somewhere along the way, neighbor Angela Schott would babysit for Hayden. Angela’s husband, Jason, has been a firefighter for around 30 years and is a lieutenant at City of Warren Fire Department.
“Hayden’s always wanted to be a firefighter to work with Jason,” said Amanda.
Tuesday is Hayden’s seventh birthday, and Jason helped Hayden’s mom and dad surprise him.
“I’ve known Hayden since he was a baby,” said Jason. “We’ve become very close with his whole family. He had a big party planned, but the coronavirus spoiled that. I called a co-worker who also happens to be the chief at Scandia and he was very excited to help. We met at the fire station this morning and when we pulled into Hayden’s house, we had the lights on and the sirens blaring. I don’t think Hayden quite knew what to think. When he saw us get out of the truck with a cookie cake and balloons, his smile was ear to ear. He’s a real special kid and he’s been through a lot for as young as he is.”
Scandia Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jon Ferrie turned on the lights and sirens on the fire truck and paid Hayden a visit a day before his actual birthday.
Hayden stood still and even shrugged his shoulders as if do ask, ‘what did I do?’ But then he sprinted out to the truck, waving. Chief Ferrie hopped out of the truck and presented Hayden with balloons and a birthday cake.
“Jon Ferrie lives in Scandia and actually got a babysitter” to be able to do this on Monday morning, said Amanda. “He took his time with him.”
Hayden asked question after question and wanted — actually needed — to inspect the fire truck.
“Hayden just had to know how everything worked,” said Amanda. “How big a bolt was on tire, what does this tool do, have you ever had to save anyone before.
“Jon Ferrie answered them for 40 minutes,” she said.
Hayden’s parents, Amanda and Brent, convinced him to go outside for an Easter chalk project on the sidewalk along Scandia Road.
“We have this huge cement pad outside our door,” said Amanda. “Fifteen minutes before they came, ‘let’s go do your art project outside,’ we said.
“Hayden stands up and his eyes were huge (when he heard the siren).”
“It was the best day ever,” he told his parents.
Safe to say Hayden will want to be a firefighter on the first day of second grade next year at St. Joseph School.
“The community did so much for us when he was sick,” said Amanda. “Random people sent us checks. We had meal trains set up for us. It was amazing.”
So, while this surprised Hayden, his mom wasn’t as surprised someone would do this for them.
“This is so wonderful,” she said. “Jason was the one who put it all together for us.”