Teacher Goes Extra Mile With Piggyback Ride for Boy With Rare Syndrome

Lance Dromgoole has rare syndrome that affects his facial structure.

ByGILLIAN MOHNEY
May 06, 2015, 11:18 AM

— -- A Texas teacher literally went the extra mile for a student when she gave him a lift so that he could cross the finish line during a special race at the school field day.

After undergoing facial surgery, Lance Dromgoole, 9, had been told by doctors not to participate in physical activity during the field day at Horn Elementary School in Bellaire, Texas.

Days earlier, the boy had undergone five-hour surgery for Treacher Collins syndrome, which affects facial development and usually results in underdeveloped facial bones.

Lance's grandfather, Willie Dromgoole, said after the surgery the third grader wasn't even supposed to go to school, but he asked to go see his friends at the field day event, when students play games and have fun races.

"He enjoys school, he really does. That’s where most of his friends are," said Dromgoole.

PHOTO: Lance Dromgoole got to celebrate a special day thanks to his third grade teacher, Tiffany Thorn.
Lance Dromgoole got to celebrate a special day thanks to his third grade teacher, Tiffany Thorn.
KTRK

While Lance could attend, he wasn't able to participate in any of the events. So to keep Lance included in the activities, Dromgoole said, his third grade teacher, Tiffany Thorn, spent the day asking Lance to be her "coach."

"On some of the events, he was my coach. He helped me pass out materials, helped me cheer on his classmates," Thorn told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston.

For the big balloon race, Thorn had another idea. She asked if Lance wanted a piggy-back ride,

"It was the balloon pop, I put him on my back and we ran down, popped the balloon," she told KTRK-TV. "Had a little bit of trouble, but we popped it and then ran back and celebrated."

Dromgoole said his grandson remained excited about the race long after it was over.

"He was in hog heaven," Dromgoole told ABC News.

Lance's grandmother, Kathy Dromgoole, also a teacher at Horn Elementary, said she was thankful that Thorn made a special effort for Lance.

"He was smiling and giggling, and he had his hands in the air crossing the finish line," Kathy Dromgoole told KTRK-TV. "He had a great time.

"When Ms. Thorn did this, it was so uplifting. She's special," she added. "She went so above the call of duty."

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