A local woman reunited Sunday with those who helped her and her son during a medical crisis. It was a fall evening at this neighborhood in Cresson when an act of kindness lead to a bond that will last forever. When Tonee Rice took a walk around the neighborhood with her 3-year-old son Asher, something got in the way of their mother-son fun. Tonee has PNES, a type of non-epileptic seizure disorder that causes her to lose her sight. She sat with Asher near the road hoping it would pass. That’s when two college students saw them as they were driving home from soccer practice and decided to do something.
Cayla Aquino, one of the women who helped Tonee and her son saying: “We saw someone sitting on the side of the road, so I stopped the car and was like, do you guys need help, and got out and helped them.” Leah Frerichs, the other woman in the car saying: “I put on the hazards and I made sure that no other cars were coming in the same area.” Cayla got out of her car and kept Asher occupied. Cayla saying: “I told him that I played soccer at the Mount, and we talked a little bit about sports. We had a brief conversation about the moon.” But that brief conversation ended in a new nickname – “Cool Cayla.”
On Sunday, he met Cool Cayla for the first time since that scary day happened. However, Cayla and Leah weren’t the only helpers. There was another neighbor who helped Tonee get back home that day. Tonee saying: “I do call her my angel.” Because like an angel, this neighbor came, helped, but then disappeared. She moved out of Tonee’s neighborhood before ever getting a thank you. Tonee said she saw the kindness of strangers in a time when we need it most. Tonee saying: “I just want people to know there are still good people. I don’t know them, they don’t know me. They just saw someone in need, and they stopped in help.”