NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) – The coronavirus pandemic has forced birthday festivities to be put on hold as people practice social distancing, but the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office celebrated a five-year-old’s birthday from a distance.
The celebration was scheduled to take place Monday, but the weather literally rained on Chance Wiles parade.
So Tuesday afternoon, emergency personnel across Carteret County drove along Highway 24 in Newport to wish Wiles a happy birthday.
The five-year-old is terminally ill. Last year, his family found out he has Walker-Warburg Syndrome. It affects Chance’s brain, his eyes, and muscles. He’s undergone multiple brain surgeries, lost a part of his eye sight, and suffers seizures.
Because of his weakened immune system, Chance’s mother, Angela Wiles, has barely taken him out of their home during the pandemic. But she wanted to make sure his birthday was celebrated.
At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Chance and his family had front row seats to his own parade. Sirens and horns sounded off Highway 24 as cars drove by the Wiles family.
Chance sat in his wheelchair and watched first responders wave to him for 15 minutes. Angela held back tears as the streets were blocked off to celebrate her son.
“Just to give him a few minutes of joy or happiness to make all that bad go away, then it was worth it,” said Angela.
Chance is one of 15 people who are diagnosed with Walker-Warburg Syndrome. Angela says her son wasn’t expected to live long. At this time, there is no cure for Walker-Warburg Syndrome.
But Angela says this was the best birthday yet, for Chance. His twin sisters surprised their brother by driving four hours to celebrate him.
Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck awarded Chance with his own badge, making him a deputy.