CHARLESTON, SC – For many students in the Lowcountry, Monday was the first day of school. It was extra special for a 5-year-old who was shot and left paralyzed the day after preschoool graduation.
News 2’s Carolyn Murray went with Tyreik Gadsden as he returned to Dunston Primary School.
“A lot of [the students] already know what happened to Tyreik,” said Janice Malone, Principal of Dunston Primary School. “One of our rules is respect so we will have that talk about respect and respecting our differences and helping him fit into his environment,” she added.
Decked-out in his Charleston Police Department uniform, Tyreik wasted no time ordering a hot breakfast. The hustle and bustle of the first day were not a distraction, Tyreik wasted no time digging in.
After a quick line up, Tyriek and Carolyn were out the door and into Tyreik’s Kindergarten classroom. There, he struggled to reach his cubby but had no problems talking to the pretty girls. One classmate wasting no time pointing out that he and Tyreik were best buds.
Charleston County School District Physical Therapist Leigh Ann Black says Dunston meets the standards for Tyreik’s needs. Modifications to his desk and school door rails are minor.
“We have to have staff that is available to him to help position him in and out of his chair,” Black said. “Toileting may be an issue but we are just trying to help him to understand if you drop something on the floor, it is okay to ask for help, your friend can help you,” she added.
On site, Tyreik’s medical needs will be monitored as he tires quickly and has a catheter. “We are all apart of a team but I am directly responsible for his health care needs,” said Nurse Cindy McBride. She adds “his smile is contagious we have just fallen in love with him all over again .”
A fundraiser is happening for Tyreik Friday, August 21 at Leon’s in Summerville. The address is 3292 West 50th North Street. It starts at 8:00pm and all of the proceeds will benefit Tyreik and his family.