Like many kids his age, 4-year-old Nolan Turner of Virginia dreams of becoming a firefighter when he’s older.
After all, the little boy has grown up knowing that his dad, Levin Turner, has put his life on the line to help others as a firefighter with Portsmouth Fire Rescue for the past 14 years.
Unfortunately, in September 2019, the Turner family received devastating news when Nolan was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.
Since then, he’s been in and out of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, and his family has struggled to find ways to keep his spirits up.
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One November day, they got a little help in that department. Levin’s colleagues at Portsmouth Fire Rescue teamed up with neighboring crews at Norfolk Fire to literally lift Nolan’s spirits!
Knowing that Nolan’s room was on the fifth floor of the hospital and that visitors are restricted due to COVID-19, the wonderful first responders showed up with a cherry picker.
They also brought along handmade signs of encouragement and one very special guest: Captain America!
This super team assembled outside the hospital without telling Nolan. Then they piled into the cherry picker and ascended hundreds of feet into the air to reach the little boy’s window.
Nolan couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Captain America and some of his favorite firefighting heroes right outside!
Levin said the visit made Nolan’s day, especially since not many visitors can come inside to see him.
“COVID has made this whole process difficult, you can only have a limited amount of visitors, so only mom and dad can come see him,” he explained. “It’s nice to see different faces and nice to see the amount of support and all the people who really care about Nolan.”
The surprise was just what Nolan and his family needed! He had a blast waving at the heroes, and his parents said the smile on his face made them extra grateful to be a part of their firefighting family.
“I’ve been in the department for 14 years, and they’ve always talked about a brotherhood and a family,” Levin said. “Since I’ve been through this, I’ve never felt more than a family unit. It’s been truly amazing.”
Our families are the people we call when we need help, and these fire and rescue teams proved that they’re more than up for the task!
Share this story to thank these heroes for making a little boy smile — and to wish Nolan a speedy recovery!
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