30-Year-Old Man with Special Needs Gets First Birthday Party Ever When His Former Middle-school Teacher Takes Him in After His Father Died of Cancer

Michell Girard and Chris Barrington

A 30-year-old man with special needs finally received the first birthday party of his life after he was taken in by his former teacher following the death of his father.

Two months ago, Chris Barrington was found by the Gatesville Sheriff’s Department as he walked alone down a Texas highway, according to KWTX. Barrington had been wandering down the highway for two days, and the department would learn that his father had recently lost his strength to move due to the progression of late-stage leukemia.

When asked if he had any other family, the only name Barrington was able to recall to authorities was his former middle school teacher, Michell Girard, who hadn’t seen him in years.

With Barrington in need of a caretaker, Girard felt compelled to help her former student.

“I said, ‘What happens if I don’t take him? Will he get in a group home?’ [And] they said no, he’d go into an institution,” Girard told the news station. “I said not on my watch he’s not.”

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Jason Duaine Hahn