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Cole Perry – Legacy Elementary

My son Brady was born with Congenital Heart Disease and has had several open heart surgeries. The last one occurring 2 years ago while he was in Mr. Perry’s 4th grade class. At the beginning of the year I explained Brady’s illness to Mr. Perry and mentioned that he would be needing heart surgery during the year sometime. He was very concerned for Brady and showed complete understanding with his absences from school and would assist him in making up missed work. The surgery occurred during January and to help protect him from getting ill before surgery we kept Brady home from school after the Christmas break. Mr. Perry offered to come teach Brady at home even before he knew he could be paid for his time. To help Brady not feel too disconnected from the class he had the class Skype Brady for about 5 minutes every day of his 5 week absence from school missing only surgery day and the few days that followed (Brady wasn’t up for Skype calls). He would Skype call Brady and have it projected for the class to see and be able to communicate with Brady daily. Some of the Skype calls occurred during their morning rituals so that Brady could still feel a part of the class.

Before Brady’s surgery Mr. Perry bought some fleece and had the class tie it to make a blanket for Brady to use at the hospital. While the students tied the blanket he took pictures and also had each student write a personal note to Brady. All these notes and pictures were put into a notebook and were delivered by Mr. Perry with the blanket to Brady. He also received a giant card from the class during this time as well. Mr. Perry showed such compassion to our son and taught his class about caring for the individual through service.

The night before surgery, which was a Sunday, Mr. Perry came to our home and brought cookies for Brady and our family and wished him the best the next day at the hospital. He also made the hour trip to come to the children’s hospital to visit him a few days after his surgery. On Brady’s first day back at school he had the classroom door decorated with balloons and a welcome back sign.

Mr. Perry went above and beyond the scope of a teacher to make a difference in my son’s life. Brady was able to go back to school after the long absence feeling a part of the class. He was caught up on all missed work because Mr. Perry took the time each week to come to our home and teach him. He is an excellent teacher and an excellent role model for his students. My son’s life is forever changed because of this amazing teacher.

–Amy Pryor