Vestavia Hills child with special needs forms sweet friendship with sanitation worker

Some friendships are just too special! Words are not enough to describe the depth of the special bond this sanitation worker and girl with special needs share. Emma Grace Johnson is a 5-year-old kid from Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Her highlight every week was meeting Elbert Berry, their sanitation worker. Tuesdays and Thursdays are so special for her because he gives her a visit every time he collects garbage in their community on the said days. Emma’s eyes light up and she immediately runs to him when his big garbage truck pulls over in front of their house!

girl with special needs friendship

Dear Emma had a rough start in life. She was born a “micro-preemie”. Verywell defines a micro-preemie as a baby who is born weighing less than 1 pound, 12 ounces (800 grams), or before 26 weeks gestation. She stayed for four months in NICU in Hungary to ensure that she would survive. She was then transferred to an orphanage and thankfully, was adopted by the Johnsons when she was three.

Laura Johnson, her mom, loved her dearly. The Johnsons created a safe refuge for Emma. Among the family members, Emma’s grandfather was the closest to her. He was not only a granddad for her, he was also her best friend. Unfortunately, things did not turn out well for them. He had heart surgery and needed to be isolated from them for quite some time to avoid contracting the COVID 19 virus. He later on died and this broke Emma’s heart to pieces.

Child with special needs forms friendship with sanitation worker - KRDO

It is stated that there is a silver lining to every cloud. This was demonstrated when Emma met a new friend in the midst of her sadness and pain. Emma and Elbert’s friendship began with Emma’s interest in large vehicles. The bandory

began to develop with a wave of her hand. This little girl insisted on accompanying Elbert wherever he went. Her imagination took over, and she snapped a photo of him with her. She’d be able to take Elbert with her everywhere she went. She carries this photograph with her at all times, including at school.

This lovely young lady took it to the next level. On Elbert’s birthday, she surprised him with a handcrafted card. “I love you,” she wrote, and tucked their photo inside. Elbert was ecstatic! What he did in return was incredibly touching! He gave her a necklace with a photo locket that included their photo. It also features the inscription “You are the best part of my day!” etched on the back. “He is the type of person we should all strive to emulate,” Laura remarked. If everyone was a little more accepting and loving, Emma and Elbert’s bond would become the norm.

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