Kerry Bloch’s eyes welled with tears as she tried to make sense of what her son, David, had just asked her. It was the first time the 21-year-old, who has autism and has been nonverbal for most of his life, had ever asked her anything. And though it was an amazing milestone, Kerry’s heart twisted at his words: “Would someone like me?”
“Of course!” she assured him. “There are thousands of people who would like you. You’re wonderful! ”
But as she left the room, tears spilled down the Florida mom’s face. Having been home-schooled and limited to the outside world due to an immunodeficiency disorder, David had never had a real friend.
Still, his first spontaneous speech was inspiring, and so Kerry took to Twitter to share the moment. My son has no communication skills. Today, he asked me his first question ever: “Would someone like me?” she wrote. Little did she know that her post was about to change their lives forever.
Messages of hope
The next day, Kerry awoke to a series of dings from her phone.
I like you, David! one user had responded. Please tell your son I would definitely like him! wrote another. “David, look!” Kerry exclaimed, reading her son the thousands of responses. “You do have friends!” she beamed. The smile on his face was gift enough, but when Kerry’s post went viral, the amazing blessings kept coming.
“You have a whole team that likes you, David!” multiple players from his favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, told him via video, inviting him to a game.
To date, thousands of cards, gifts and invites have arrived for David, and a GoFundMe account was started to help Kerry and her husband with David’s daily care.
“Our hearts are truly touched,” Kerry shares. “As parents of a child with autism, we want so much for our kids, but before this happened, it was a very dark time for David. Even the smallest message of love has meant the world to our whole family.”
In fact, just days after this happened, David came to Kerry and said another spontaneous phrase: “Trust people.” And Kerry has. “We’re so thankful,” she says. “Don’t give up, miracles can happen!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.