At first glance, for anyone visiting the water park in central New York, it looked like a trio of young children holding hands as they made their way slowly up a walkway.
But in actuality, the one in the middle, Jeffrey Mackey, 6, was getting help from his friends.
Jeffrey has cerebral palsy but he has not let it slow him down, his mother, Andrea Mackey, told ABC News affiliate WSYR-TV on Tuesday. He plays soccer and enjoys hanging out at the park, she said.
"Whether your kid has a disability or not, you always worry about them," she said. "With Jeffrey, I worry a little more. I always have."
So when 5-year-old friends Raya Joyce and Kane Raymond saw Jeffrey alone at Thunder Island Park in Fulton recently, appearing to need some help, they each took one of his hands.
"His legs, they, he couldn't really walk and I had to hold his hand up the stairs," Raya said.
Mackey said that when Jeffrey gets cold, his muscles tighten more than normal, making it more difficult for him to walk and keep up.
Whether your kid has a disability or not, you always worry about them. With Jeffrey, I worry a little more. I always have.
Jeffrey told WSYR-TV that the gesture had made him feel "happy."
"I needed help," he said.
The two friends stayed by Jeffrey's side the duration of the park visit. The small act of kindness brought his mother some peace and confirmation that there was good in the world.
"It was just affirmation for me that, you know, somebody will always help him," said Mackey, who captured the children on video and posted it to social media.
"I think there's just been so much going on in the world right now, I think people needed to see it. I think they saw three tiny hearts do an amazing thing. And, kids are good. You know, those kids are going to grow up to be good adults and they will always help him. Somebody will always have his back. We have a great community, a great support team, so, I'm a little less worried today," she said.