Young Indiana brain surgery patient goes friendless on birthday, strangers make it up to him


(WBBM/CNN) — A grandmother in Indiana was outraged when her grandson, who had brain surgery, was stood up by his friends on his birthday. But some complete strangers are now making it up to him.

When we visited Gerald Hamilton to see how he was doing, a UPS delivery man came in at the same time with a dolly full of boxes especially for him.

This was a much better scene than what we saw in our earlier story on Gerald. He had never been able to celebrate his birthday because brain complications have required him to have numerous surgeries throughout his young life.

But for his ninth birthday, he finally had the chance. His mother invited 30 classmates to his birthday party last month and 12 kids RSVP’d they would attend.

But when the day came, no one showed up.

His grandmother Amelia Lara said then “It’s heartbreaking. He’s just a kid who wants friends to play with.”

So she went on Facebook to express her disappointment. Part of her post read:

At 3 o’clock he made sure his goodie bags were ready for his friends, he was dressed and ready to party. At 5:00 p.m. he was still sitting there not wanting to cut his cake because one person might show up. When my daughter called the 12 parents to find out what was going on. Here is their response. My child can’t play with yours he is just to (sic) different. How sad he is 9 he just wants to have friends. So no one came, no cards, no presents. So, it is my mission to have as many cards as I can mailed to my little guy. You can send them to me and I’ll make sure he gets them….this breaks my heart.

Her message has been shared, to date, 3,500 times.

And Gerald has been getting more than just cards. At the office where they are marshaling all of the gifts for Gerald, a staffer said “Our mail lady has been overwhelmed. I need a full-time assistant to help me with all the gifts.”

It’s been a whirlwind of gifts not only from strangers, but from a city councilman, police officers who gave him a badge, and a gift from a little boy who wrote him a note saying he felt really bad.

And it looks like Gerald may have a new friend after all. The family of a boy who had the same surgeries got in touch with Gerald’s grandma and a play date for the two boys is now in the works.

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