6-year-old girl gets her own parade from special firefighter - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

6-year-old girl gets her own parade from special firefighter

(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Rachel Wickware) (Source: Rachel Wickware)
(Source: Rachel Wickware) (Source: Rachel Wickware)
(Source: Mike Mohundro) (Source: Mike Mohundro)

Raylynn Hope got her own parade on Saturday night; and Firefighter Kevin Drury, well, he got a teddy bear that now means the world to him.

Raylynn and her sister visited the Scott City Fire Department on Sunday where they met with Scott City Firefighter Kevin Drury, as well as with other firefighters. They reminisced about how the firefighter had befriended the little six-year-old girl.

One day in late October, Raylynn, of Scott City, wasn't feeling very well. She had a temperature of 104.9. So her mom called 911 for help.

That's when Scott City firefighters Kevin Drury and Noah Crump showed up.

Raylynn has a weak immune system, ADHD as well as autism. Her mom, Rachel Wickware, said that Raylynn is sick often due to her condition.

Before paramedics arrived on that day in October, firefighters were the first responders on the scene to help.

Raylynn saw Drury and immediately smiled.

"Kevin, it's you!"

Drury stayed with Raylynn, talking with her the whole time until paramedics arrived.

Raylynn remembered Drury from a fire drill one day at her school where firefighters came in and demonstrated to the elementary students on how to properly exit the school during an emergency.

"She was a bit more bubbly at the school," Drury said. "Kind of hopped around a little bit as she was exiting; so I did notice her."

Wickware said she could tell her daughter felt better just from Drury being there and talking with her.

"I said, we're going to take good care of you," Drury said. "It's going to be a little bit before an ambulance so I promise we're going to do the best we can."

"He took my temperature, he checked my heart and he checked my ears," Raylynn said.

So after that, it became Raylynn's mission to thank him.

"She wouldn't let it go," Wickware said. "She said, can we see if Kevin's there?"

And finally, on Sunday, Raylynn and her mom went to the fire station, with a teddy bear in hand, asking for Drury.

Another firefighter knew they were coming and made sure that Drury would be at the station.

"They told me that I needed to be at the station around 3 o'clock," he said. "They told me, it will be worth it."

Drury showed up and was excited to see Raylynn.

She gave him the teddy bear and a card. Drury smiled back and gave Raylynn a big thank you.

"It was a very heartfelt moment," he said. "Very emotional moment for me."

"I wanted to thank him because he took care of me," Raylynn said.

Drury stayed to help other firefighters get ready for the Parade of Lights in Cape Girardeau. He turned to ask Raylynn, "Are you going to the Parade of Lights?" 

But due to Raylynn's medical condition and the fear of getting sick, she wasn't able to go.

Raylynn and her mom left the fire station, not thinking anything else would happen.

Meanwhile, once the parade finished, Drury and and his fellow firefighters, Shawn Jackson and Jordan Cliff, decided to make a detour. They went and bought some candy from a store on their way back after the parade.

They then headed towards Raylynn's house.

They knocked on the door and Wickware opened it, not knowing what to expect. It was Drury and the other firefighters. They had brought their fire truck from the parade with the lights still on.

"As soon as the door opened, I radioed to the engineer, Shawn Jackson, and said hit the lights!" Drury said. "We lit up the whole front yard."

Raylynn came to the door to see the lights and sirens.

"When my mom opened the door, I saw the sirens on the window," Raylynn said. "That's how I knew he was there."

"Since you couldn't go to the parade, we decided to bring the parade to you!" Drury said to Raylynn.

Raylynn smiled and her eyes lit up as the firefighters had the Christmas lights and the sirens on just for her.

"He gave me a hug and then gave me a bag of candy," Raylynn said. "He said I'm his favorite and best patient ever."

So now, a new bond has formed between Raylynn and Drury.

One that neither of them will soon forget.

And the teddy bear that Raylynn gave Drury is in his room on a display shelf, right in between some of his firefighter gear. He said he is planning on keeping it there to always remind him of Raylynn's kindness and the friendship they now share.

While at the fire station, Raylynn and her sister also gave another teddy bear to another firefighter, thanking him for his service.

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