Boy in Wheelchair Finds the Strength to Honor the National Anthem After Surgery
Humble young Tennesseean says of his dramatic act caught on camera, 'I like to stand for my country'
Ten-year-old Avery Price proudly rose from his wheelchair, braces on both legs, and struggled to stand for the national anthem at the Putnam County Fair in Cookeville, Tennessee, this past Sunday, as Fox 17’s KOMO News reported.
The boy has a cerebral palsy-like syndrome called hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), which makes it hard for him to use his legs.
He underwent surgery at a medical center in Nashville and had only recently begun attempting to walk, the news outlet noted.
In a video that many people have watched, the determined and patriotic youngster grips the handle of his wheelchair to help steady himself, with his dad sticking close by his side.
“I usually sit and put my hand on my heart, but last night, I just decided to stand,” he told a reporter from KOMO News.
“I like to stand for my country,” the student from Cookeville’s Prescott South Middle School added.
“I’m very proud to see him do that,” said Avery’s father, Stephen Price. “Especially with the stuff he’s been through.”
“He’s a very patriotic kid,” the elder Price added. “The braces he had beforehand were [adorned with] the American flag.”
Avery’s mother, Jayme Jefcoat, missed the fair, but she saw the video of her son standing for the anthem. “We’re very proud of him,” she told KOMO.
“It’s a great display of patriotism,” said country artist Jenny Leigh, who was singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” when Avery got to his feet.
Leah Norris, who posted the video of the touching moment on Facebook, said in the accompanying post, “One of the most touching things I’ve ever seen tonight! … This goes to show that if he can stand for his country, so can you … His parents are raising a fine young man.”
She also noted, “He doesn’t understand the impact he made. It’s not a protest of anything — it’s more of our soldiers and our men and women are fighting for our rights to do what we want … and he stood up for what he believed, and he stood up for his country.”
One of the most touching things I’ve ever seen tonight! This young man was struggling to stand for the anthem as he had braces on both legs with his Dad patting his back in support of helping him. You may or may not agree and that’s your choice. But this goes to show that If he can stand for his country, so can you. I’m not sure who this boy or his family is, or if it’ll ever reach them again. But his parents are raising a fine young man.
Posted by Leah Norris on Sunday, August 5, 2018
“What character and integrity!” said a Facebook commenter named Becky Lawhorn. “This young man and his father alone puts the NFL to shame. I wish I had been there to shake his hand. I have an incredible amount of respect for this family.”
Since she posted the video a bit after midnight on Monday, the remarkably inspiring footage has been viewed nearly 60,000 times.
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.