PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fl. (WIAT) — A Birmingham man was all smiles this week when he was able to make his first ever trip to the beach.
36-year-old David Thomas got a chance to visit Panama City Beach with long-time family friend Izas Fuller, who documented Thomas’ adventure. He shared a video to Facebook which has since been viewed 22,000 times.
Fuller wrote in the caption “David is 36 years old, he has not been out of the Jefferson County area in 20 years! His Only trip was a School field trip when he was 15 years old… so this is a very special moment for him! First trip to the BEACH!”
Thomas, who is wheelchair-bound, can be seen gazing out at the shore in the video. When asked how it felt to be there, he just thanked God.
“I’m just happy to be here […] cause I never really do anything,” Thomas said in the video. “This is so beautiful and I just thank God for making this possible.”
The ocean was not the only thing Thomas never thought he’d see. He was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair his entire life. According to Fuller, doctors only gave Thomas 24 hours to live after he was born.
Thirty-six years later, Thomas was able to rent a more durable, motorized wheelchair and scroll across the beach thanks to donations from his Facebook friends who helped cover the costs.
Fuller says he has known Thomas since they both attended Jonesboro Elementary School in Bessemer. He says as a teenager, he started helping Fuller once they started going to the same church.
“He’s a blessing to be around,” Fuller said.
See Fuller’s original post below: