When the weather forecast called for up to eight inches of snow in their New Jersey community, brothers Brian and Patrick Lanigan immediately thought of their neighbor Natalie Blair.
She depends on dialysis treatments — and that meant the snowstorm could be a life or death situation.
Brian, who works as a local EMT, had shoveled the Blair family’s driveway during a storm just a few days earlier. But this time, he knew he would be on the job when the snowstorm struck. It was up to his little brother Patrick to ensure their neighbor would be able to leave her house for the treatment she desperately needs.
Knowing time was of the essence, Patrick opened up his contact list and started reaching out to friends to help out. Four of his fellow Parsippany High School seniors answered the call and volunteered to spend the night at the Lanigan house just to wake up and start shoveling at 4:30 a.m.
With everyone working together, it took less than 30 minutes to clear the freshly fallen snow.
While they hoped the storm would force their town to cancel classes, they ended up with a two-hour delayed opening. That gave them just enough time to rest up before heading to school.
The world might not have known about this simple act of kindness if Patrick’s father, Peter Lanigan, hadn’t tweeted out a photo:
Snow Angels disguised as PHS Srs, Justin, Pat, Chris, Tyler & Amon got up super early 4:30 (really never slept) to shovel a driveway for a neighbor who needed to get to dialysis #Goodboys #MooMoo #hopingforasnowday pic.twitter.com/ZMMWbrBRlR
— Peter Lanigan (@TweeterLanigan) March 4, 2019
That tweet, he told CNN, humbled Patrick with all of the attention it generated.
Peter said this act of kindness was not at all out of character for his son. He described him as a “small kid with a big heart.”
Shoveling snow is not the only way Patrick helps his community. He is also active in his church. At school, Patrick is a “peer buddy,” serving as a role model for students on the autism spectrum.
“When I came out here at 6 a.m., the whole driveway was completely clear so I could get out,” Blair said of her neighbor’s thoughtful gesture, per ABC7. “And I did. I got to dialysis safely.”
Written by Gabriel Kinder for CNN. Additional reporting by Simplemost staff.
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