Taney County Boy Gets a Sweet Halloween Surprise

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BRANSON, Mo. — You might assume sirens are scary, with the presence of paramedics at a Halloween party. But the Taney County Ambulance District is flashing its lights for fun Tuesday night in hopes of starting a tradition.

KOLR10 visited the Branson Landing and a special trick-or-treater, who kept a serious face in his Marine uniform. We got a few smiles, a lot of candy, and most of all, a little boy named McKoy.

For Halloween 2017, candy is good, but mom Ariel Gibson knows rodents are better.

“What’s your best thing that you got?” Gibson said to son McKoy Stringer. “The rat? Probably his rat that he picked.”
    
Halloween has always been extra sweet for this family.

“Hey, the girls say ‘Happy Birthday,'” Gibson said.
    
Five years ago, her son was born without arms or legs. Since then, Grandma Tammy Stringer says he’s been doing just fine.
    
“He writes his own name, he pushes his own cars, he shoots bows, he goes fishing, he hunts, he does it all,” Stringer said.

Another important activity for any five-year-old, is candy collection.

“I wouldn’t say he has a condition,” Stringer said. “He is normal, and kids will ask him why he is the way he is, he says it’s the way God made him. And he says, ‘I can do anything you can, just not as fast.'”

Except this Halloween, with the help of the Taney County paramedics, Mckoy sped past his fellow trick-or-treaters. They got the idea from paramedics in Texas that started something similar. This year, for the first time, the Taney County crew picked McKoy up at home and transported him to the Branson Landing.

“We do have his wheelchair, but we just got the van this last August, so it’s still coming together,” Gibson said. “Wouldn’t be as easy without the ambulance.”
    
Johnathan Tudor, the public information officer for TCAD Paramedics, was happy to help.

“As paramedics, we rarely get to see the good side,” Tudor said. “No one calls us on a good day.”

This day, was undoubtedly one of the good ones.

“Are you having fun?” Gibson said to her son, who wouldn’t budge a smile. “I want to say yes, he’s just shy.”

Taney County paramedics say they plan to choose a different child every year. It can be anyone who needs help trick-or-treating. They told KOLR10 it’s hard to find applicants because of patient privacy laws.

If you know someone you’d like to nominate, you can do so beginning next fall.
   

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