What’s Working: “Angel” gives Fairhope girl free beach wheelchair

Baldwin County

An eight-year-old girl in Fairhope will be able to enjoy trips to the beach with her family, thanks to an Alabama non-profit agency called The Angels of Alabama.

Katelynn Horne was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital defect of the spine that makes it very hard for her to walk. Weakness in her legs makes it impossible for her to walk on the beach. That can be frustrating, since she has a twin sister, Emmalynn who enjoys splashing in the waves.  Katelynn’s father, Brett, has to carry her to the beach, which can be draining for him.

Katelynn’s parents, Heather and Brett Horne, say they had decided that they would like to get a beach wheelchair, but they knew they couldn’t afford one at this time.  Out of the blue, they got a call from Tyler Thompson, who started the non-profit agency, The Angels of Alabama.  Tyler, too, was born with Spina Bifida. As a child, he remembers how someone gave him a racing wheelchair, and he was thrilled. He knew that one day he wanted to help others as well. That’s why he started a non-profit agency and began raising money. He has donated six beach wheelchairs to children around the country. He contacted the Spina Bifida Association of Alabama, who got him in touch with the Horne family.

“He is an angel,”  Heather Horne said. “We are so happy God sent him to us, to make life a little bit easier.”

The Horne family was so excited when Tyler arrived with the wheelchair.  Katelynn loved gliding across the sand.

“I loved it. It was easy and fun,” Katelynn said.

Her twin sister, Emmalynn, was thrilled to have her sister alongside her at the beach.

“I thought was amazing to see her going around the beach,”  Emmalynn said.

The Horne family has planned many trips to the beach, thanks to Tyler and their brand new beach wheelchair.

“I know it has been a struggle for the families, and I am happy I can help the families get on the beach and do something they would not be able to do otherwise,” Thompson said.

If you would like to learn more about The Angels of Alabama organization, click here. 

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