The Liberty Bank Surprise Squad was able to get some valuable items for a Connecticut man in a wheelchair.
Last week, the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad was in Old Saybrook, interrupting a school-wide assembly to surprise 12 year-old Taber Marineau and his adoptive parents.
This week, they interrupted one man's workday at the Crystal Mall in Waterford.
Jamie Douton, of Norwich, is a grandfather and father. Douton became paraplegic about six years ago, after falling off of a roof.
His bride Monica Douton took care of her husband as he adjusted to his new life. But, just a year ago, the tables turned on this couple after Monica was suddenly diagnosed with brain cancer.
On Jan. 28 Monica Douton passed away. A loss felt not only by Jamie Douton and their family, but the entire community.
“They're so community-focused and they volunteer all the time; the first person to give the shirt off his back,” Jamie's daughter-in-law Jessica Friello said. “Not only give the shirt off their back, they would say what size shoe do you have? They'd give you the shoes too.”
Jamie Douton's story showed up on the radar for Liberty Bank Surprise Squad after Catherine Chapman, who is a close friend of the Doutons, filled out a nomination form on the site.
“I was shocked when I got to work and saw that you responded,” Chapman said. “And now he's going to be on the receiving end of something very meaningful; Right. He would never ask for anything...so to give him anything, is great.”
For weeks, the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad producers were in close contact with Jamie’s son Sean, daughter-in-law Jessica and Kim Lachua, who is a manager at Sears store in Waterford where Jamie works part-time.
“He is the most positive person that I have met for two years now since he's been here,” Lachua said.
Lachua was instrumental in helping the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad pull this surprise off while Jamie Douton was on the clock.
“We have him downstairs. My security cameras are on him,” Lachua said. “I have three people on him. They're all following him around.”
Jessica helped arrange this amazing entourage made up of family and friends and the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad surprised Jamie Douton.
Eyewitness News handed Jamie Douton an envelope that would answer that question.
“Jamie, we were touched by your story after your friend Cathi contacted us. Your strength and determination is inspiring, so we wanted to do something a little special for you,” Nicole Nalepa said.
With the help of Jamie’s son Sean, the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad were table to obtain two big items that would help his dad get around a little easier.
“It's a new seat cushion for my wheelchair,” Nalepa said.
“New tires for my wheelchair! Awesome...Thank you; which I heard you also could use...I do...I blow them out quite often,” Jamie Douton said.
There were several other things Jamie Douton really needed, which pertained to his van; and his work family was going to make sure it was taken care of.
“We're getting new tires for your van. We're doing a tune-up,” Lachua said. “We're doing the spark plugs for the van and that's all from Sears and Sears Auto.”
Lachua also presented Jamie Douton with an envelope that contained cash donations--collected at the store and from his sears family.
“I've been feeling a little alone, and I don't feel so alone anymore,” Jamie Douton said. “I don't know how to explain it. I just really feel loved. That's all I can say.”
To nominate someone for the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad, click here.
To see photos of the surprise on your mobile device, click here.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.