Shaquille O’Neal, aka Shaq, was once an amazing basketball player. After retiring, he started working as a sports analyst on TNT. You can also see him on a number of television commercials. His personality and energy draw people to him. He is also known for his kindness and generosity. He had a special surprise in mind for one family that was absolutely incredible.
Syrai Sanders is a 6-year-old girl. Every morning, she and her classmate, Logan Braatz would go to the bus stop together. The stop was right down the street from their homes so they would walk there on their own. Syrai and Logan’s trip to the bus stop was typically uneventful. Sadly, tragedy struck one day.
The Tragic Incident
The children were walking to the bus stop one morning when a border collie and a pit bull mix approached them and attacked. The dogs attacked two children so violently that Logan was killed and Syrai was critically injured. During the attack, the other children tried to pull the dogs off the children, but they were unable to. According to Syrai, she tried to hold onto her cousin to get away from the dogs, but they wouldn’t let up. When she spoke to the local news, she said, “the dogs made me fall on the street. And then they bite me on my head and my ear. I said, ‘Help, help, somebody help me.” What happened to these two children was horrific.
When the police arrived on the scene, they had to shoot and kill the border collie to get him to stop attacking the children. They were able to capture the pit bull mix and take him to the local animal control office. The police, like most people, know that dogs are only partially responsible for attacking others. It is also the dog’s owners who are responsible. It is up to an owner to make sure that their dogs remain on a leash or in the yard. Also, dogs should never be trained to attack. The owner of the two dogs, Cameron Tucker, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Logan.
Syrai was seriously injured during the attack. To treat her injuries, she had to have eight surgeries in less than two months. During her time in the hospital, she was told that her best friend had died. Her mother says that Syrai misses talking to him and playing with him. Not only did this little girl need to fight for her life, but she also had to try to deal with the loss of her good friend. This was something that no child should ever have to deal with. When Syrai was released from the hospital, her troubles were far from over. She still needed to eat through a tube, and she had plenty of more healing to do. Her doctors just thought that she would heal better at home.
The News Spread
It wasn’t long after the attack that all of the national news stations picked up the story. People were horrified about what happened to these children. One person, in particular, was Shaq. He heard about what this poor little girl had gone through and decided to do something to lift her spirits.
A Shopping Trip
Shaq figured that since Syrai was in a hospital bed for two months that she deserved the bed of her dreams. He took her to Rooms To Grow to choose a new bed. Her family couldn’t believe it when he made the offer, and they knew that something this special would lift her spirits. Family told to go shopping, but they have no idea what Shaq has in store for them.
An Amazing Time
Even though Syrai was weak, she thoroughly enjoyed the shopping trip. While holding her grandmother’s hand, she rode up and down the escalators. She was enjoying the experience. When they came to a princess bed, Syrai’s eyes lit up. Using her father’s weight for balance, she jumped on the bed. She couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
When it was obvious that Syrai had chosen the bed of her dreams, Shaq appeared from around the corner. He told the little girl that he was going to buy the bed for her because of her strength and her bravery. When he picked Syrai up, it brought her father and her grandmother to tears. This was the happiest that they had seen the little girl in a very long time. Her father says that it was the perfect day.
What Shaq did for Syrai was pretty incredible. He knew that he couldn’t change what happened to her, and he knew that he couldn’t bring her friend back. What he did know was that he could try to bring some joy into this little girl’s life.