All Reese Loggins wanted for his birthday was a bicycle, and like any 10-year-old's parent, Michelle Loggins was determined to deliver.
"He knew his old one didn't fit anymore since we've been in the hospital for so long," Michelle Loggins said. "Every time someone would bring up his birthday, that's what he'd ask for. So we wanted to make it happen."
The pre-teen from High Point, North Carolina, has been battling leukemia at Duke University Hospital for 15 months. This was his second consecutive birthday spent with doctors and nurses instead of classmates and friends, so his parents hoped to make the double-digit milestone memorable with a special present. But visitor restrictions, social distancing guidelines and general hospital policies looked like they might get in the way of that happening.
"The hospital room has to be extremely clean, so it wouldn't work to wheel in a bicycle," Michelle Loggins explained. "We had to come up with a way for him to see it without bringing the bike inside."
Michelle's husband, Rusty Loggins, noticed a construction crew working on a hospital expansion project outside his son's room and explained the family's situation.
"Immediately they said, ‘What do we need to do? How can we help make this happen?'" Michelle Loggins said. "It was very kind."
The construction team got to work, and on the morning of Reese's birthday last Wednesday, used a crane to hoist his new ride up to the fifth-floor window. The crew also put up a birthday banner made by Reese's parents and called in to sing "Happy Birthday" along with medical staff.
"His face was so priceless -- it was just the sweetest moment," Michelle Loggins said. "He's been feeling so bad, but this day and this moment. It really lifted his spirits, and he was grinning ear-to-ear."