Texas man with special needs gets first birthday party at 30 years old

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - It was a day full of firsts at Lake Waco, as Chris Barrington, a 30-year-old man with special needs, had his first ever birthday party.

At 30-years-old, Chris Barrington has a whole year of firsts ahead of him as he celebrates a new life with his new family. (Source: KWTX)

“He deserves a good life,” said Michell Girard, Barrington’s caretaker. “He's had a hard life.”

A little over two months ago Barrington, who Girard says functions at a 6-year-old's level, was found walking down a highway alone by the Gatesville Sheriff’s Department.

He had been wandering Gatesville for two days.

Barrington's father was so sick with late stage leukemia that he couldn't move.

Barrington had no known immediate family, but he did remember the name of his junior high teacher, Girard. Girard taught him for four years in Gatesville, but hadn't interacted with him in years.

However, she was more than willing to take Barrington in.

“I said, 'What happens if I don't take him? Will he get in a group home?' They said, 'No, he'll he'd go in to an institution,'” said Girard. “I said, 'Not on my watch, he's not.'”

Girard is now applying for guardianship of Barrington after his father passed away on Aug. 1. While they wait for that process to be completed, Girard is making sure Barrington has every opportunity to experience life's joyous celebrations.

“He's never had a birthday present, a birthday party. He's never had Christmas, Thanksgiving, nothing,” said Girard. “So this year is going to be full of firsts.”

With the help of JMB Fishing out of Waco, Chris was not only able to have his first birthday party, but also got to enjoy his first boat ride and fishing trip.

“You know there are so many things that kids want to do,” said Jimmy Bennett, owner of JMB Fishing.

“They want to go to Disney. I have one that wants to go to Hawaii on a shark fishing trip. Chris is happy to come out on Lake Waco and ride around on a boat. That’s all he wants to do,” he said.

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Read the original version of this article at kwtx.com.