Chattanooga teen with Asperger's receives special surprise on birthday
A Chattanooga teenager with special needs got a special surprise for his 16th birthday on Tuesday.
Connor Murray’s mother, Brandy, posted to Facebook sharing that when she asked her son if he wanted a party to celebrate his big year, he said no because he thought only one friend would show up.
Brandi also asked people to send cards and wishes to her son.
After learning about Murray’s story and respect for first responders, the Chattanooga Fire Department decided to put a spark in the family’s New Year.
Chattanooga Fire Station 21 put on their sirens and rolled up in their Quint 21 truck to wish Murray a happy birthday.
"I was very amazed. I thought they would come in quiet or something. I didn't think they would do all of this stuff for me," Murray said.
"Sixteenth birthday is big for everybody and just he was really into this and we were just really wanting to be a part of this for him, make it special for him," said Lt. David Cowden with Station 21.
The birthday boy received goodies including an official department sweatshirt and a chance to check out the truck’s bells and whistles.
Murray said what excited him most was the opportunity to hop behind the wheel and start the engine.
"I've always wanted to start one. I never thought it would be that easy either. So, it's really cool that they took the time out," he said.
Murray had Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition that makes it difficult to communicate and express feelings.
His family said seeing him turn a little red and the smile on his face meant everything.
"For Connor and other kids that have special needs and aren't always recognized. They have a lot of trouble making friends and things like that. For them to take time out of their schedule, I know they're busy. To just come out here for him. That meant the world to us.”
Murray said he has always enjoyed what firefighters do, and after Tuesday, he is thinking about becoming a part of the team.
"I've always wanted to be like a pilot or something but I also want to be a firefighter one day hopefully," he said.
Murray said he has big plans for 2020 like getting his driver’s permit and starting a new job soon.