18-year-old Ty Swartout is a non-verbal and autistic teen who just loves “The Polar Express”. He’s read the book countless times and makes it a point to watch the movie adaptation every month. So when it was announced that a real-life version of the magical train ride was going to be a feature at the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel’s Polar Express in Williams, Arizona, the teen’s parents immediately made plans to take their son for a fun visit.
The family’s trip seemed to go smoothly, considering it was a 4-hour drive. The excited teen even came prepared for the visit. In true “The Polar Express” fashion, Ty and his service dog even sported matching plaid pajamas, just like the boy in the story. When they arrived, the family enjoyed dinner together and prepared to board the train but the excitement of it all caused the teen to be overstimulated which resulted in two meltdowns as they made their way to the platform.
The courteous staff in charge of the attraction insisted the train wouldn’t leave without Ty but the parents declined and told them to go ahead. In a Facebook post, the teen’s mother gave a detailed narration of what happened: “Sadly our son had other plans. You see he is autistic. He was so excited that he became overwhelmed and had an atomic size meltdown. He beat me and his dad up pretty badly. A wonderful woman helped us by holding our stuff while we tried to keep Ty from smashing his head on the bricks. The staff of the Grand Canyon Railway tried so hard to help. They even held the train. Finally, I had to say let’s go back to the room. I cried all the way back. My heart was shattered. I wanted this so badly for my son. He loves trains and he loves the Polar Express. This was a dream come true. But it didn’t happen.”
Fortunately, the teen’s mother didn’t have to settle for a heart-shattering ending to their trip.
The thoughtful staff of the hotel, along with a police officer, stopped by their room to check on Ty and make sure he and his family were okay. As if their concern and thoughtful gesture was not enough, they informed the teen’s parents that they wanted to do something to compensate for the unfortunate incident. Hotel staff helped Ty’s dad reschedule their visit on the “The Polar Express” train and even included free special needs accommodations. While travel plans were being arranged, Ty and his mother, Angie settled in bed to read the teen’s favorite book once more.
What they weren’t expecting was another surprise, this time in the form of a visit from the railway train conductor.
“I had just finished when my husband came back in and he said that there was someone special that wanted to visit. Ty and I shook our head yes and in walks the train conductor. He sat next to Ty’s bed and chatted with him. Ty was star struck. He was so excited and happy. Then the conductor gave Ty his pocket watch!” Angie shared on Facebook.
It ended up being a magical night for Ty after all. On top of all the excitement, more good news met the family. The hotel and railway agreed to reschedule their trip because they felt that everyone deserves a special and magical experience. Angie and her husband were more than grateful for the gift of kindness extended to them by the people who witnessed it all. Despite not being able to go aboard the train, they were given something better.
In the same Facebook post, the couple also shared updates of their rescheduled visit along with more surprises:
There’s truly nothing like a happy ending. Now Ty’s dream to go aboard The Polar Express can come true.
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Source: Good News Network