Mom Monica Ward Scharrer is always on the watch. Her son requires a heavy wheelchair, and whenever they go out into public places, she has to help him navigate. Despite the help that the Americans With Disabilities Act has given to people who need it, not every public space is accommodating for those in wheelchairs. Public transportation, especially subway stations and trains can be very difficult to navigate.
Although Monica and her son Chris love going outside to explore the city, it is not easy for them to get outside. One of their favorite things to do as a family is to watch their favorite sports team. But when things don’t go according to plan, Monica started to freak out. “Our worst nightmare occurred.”
Monica was taking Chris to watch the New York Rangers play hockey. On the way to the game, the pair took the subway train without problem. They got into the stadium and took their seats. Everything was going perfectly. The game was a blast, but eventually, it ended, and it was time for Monica and Chris to head back home.
When they got to the street, they discovered that the elevator that takes passengers down to the subway at Penn Station was no longer worker. Because Chris’s wheelchair weighs 350 pounds, they had no other way to get home. They were relying on the elevator to help them.
Monica started to freak out. She needed to catch the train to get Chris home for the night. And then a guardian angel stepped into her life. And she was grateful.
Officer Mears was in the area and noticed the pair’s predicament. He could understand how it must be challenging to navigate New York City in a wheelchair, especially when the MTA doesn’t keep their elevators in working order. Then Officer Mears did the unthinkable. He offered to help get the family home.
Monica said Officer Mears was a “beautiful human being.” He escorted the pair around the area until they could find an elevator that worked. But Officer Mears did not stop there. Although that alone would have been helpful, he then accompanied them down the elevator and into the bellies of Penn Station. There he led the pair to the Long Island Railroad. And when they reached the train, Officer Mears setup the wheelchair ramp for Monica, which was a much-needed break.
Before they parted, Monica expressed her gratitude to Officer Mears. Then he offered a confession.
“(He) told me he worked with the disabled for six years before he became a police officer and that is where his heart is. I can’t say enough about how wonderful this officer was to my son and I. He essentially moved a mountain for us! I love this man and what he represents of humanity.”
After thinking it over, Monica shared her heartwarming story on the Facebook page Love What Matters. It quickly went viral as thousands of people shared the joy of Monica’s experience along with the generosity of Officer Mears.
Chris and Monica made it aboard the train in time to get home. Their night was saved.