David Thomas, who uses a wheelchair, had not left the Jefferson County area for more than 20 years until his friend, Izas Fuller, asked him to go to the beach this year.
“The last time I went anywhere I was 15 years old. This…it was like a dream. Like something I didn’t want to wake up from,” Thomas said.
Fuller was inspired to invite Thomas on a beach trip after a family vacation two years ago.
Thomas had commented on the photos Fuller had posted online from their trip to Panama City.
“His comments made me think, ‘I’d really like to take him to the beach,'” Fuller said.
This week, Thomas joined the Fuller family in their Panama City condo.
A trip to the beach might seem ordinary for some 36-year-old men, but for for Thomas, the trip was so much more than just a trip to the beach.
“It just brought tears to my eyes because I never had anyone to take the time to do anything for me because of my being in a wheelchair,” he said. “God has blessed with me some real friends. I’m just the most luckiest guy to have him in my life and for him to really want to help me.”
Some friends donated money so Thomas could rent a motorized beach wheelchair with large tires so he could take a stroll on the beach.
“Every day since I’ve been here I’ve just been enjoying the beach riding there in my chair and taking it all in,” he said.
Fuller posted a video of Thomas going on the beach for the first time on Facebook. To date, the video has been viewed more than 48,000 times. He said he never expected the video to spread on social media.
“I just wanted friends to see it because I had talked about it for a few years. It was amazing that we got that kind of response,” he said. “I was blessed just to experience his experience. It’s a blessing to be a blessing.”
Thomas and the Fuller family plan to return to Jefferson County later this week, but Thomas said he hopes to return soon.
“God is good. God is always on time. It might take a minute for it to happen, but he’s always right on time,” Thomas said.