Kimberly Waterbury and her 95-year-old mom Dottie Schneider recently spent a week vacationing in Orange Beach, Alabama. They had been talking about the trip for months, and Waterbury was determined to fulfill her mom's dream of feeling the sand under her feet and dipping a toe into the warm waters of the Gulf.
Orange Beach Surf Rescue
One day, Shane Martin, a lifeguard with Orange Beach Surf Rescue noticed them struggling. Waterbury recalled to AL.com how the young lifeguard approached them on an ATV and asked if they needed help.
Waterbury explained to him that her mother can't walk but wanted to go down to the beach. Without hesitating, Martin gently scooped 79-pound Schneider into the vehicle and drove her to her spot in the sand. He then lifted her in his arms and placed her in a chair.
For the next four days that followed, Martin and the other lifeguards took Schneider to and from her chair and down to the water "like clockwork," Waterbury said.
"They were faithful. They were there," she told AL.com. "It made my mom's whole trip."
It made Waterbury's trip too. She said it gave her a chance to "just be a daughter."
"I was not a caregiver, I was her daughter," she added.
Orange Beach Surf Rescue shared photos of their lifeguards in action on Facebook this week, resulting in an avalanche of praise for the young men who helped Schneider make the most of her beach vacation.
"Lifeguards are public servants, and we could not be happier to help provide this service," the rescue wrote in the now-viral Facebook post.
Mom and daughter are now back home in Chandler, Indiana. Though Schneider is now in hospice care, they still hope to go back to Orange Beach someday soon.
"We are forever indebted to the guys with Orange Beach Surf Rescue," a tearful Waterbury told AL.com. "They made my mother feel special. She was not made to feel like she was a burden on anybody."
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