Secret Santa gifts surprise to special needs man

- Santa came early for one Apopka family after the local fire department delivered an anonymous gift.

America Warnack said a firefighter called her, Thursday, and said he had a gift to deliver to her son, Derrick, from a secret Santa. 

Several firefighters arrived at their home in a fire engine and gave them an anonymous card with tickets for the Polar Express train in Mount Dora.

America said she promised Derrick they would go on the Polar Express this year, but the family thought they would have to skip it because finances were dedicated to getting him a new wheelchair. 

Derrick, who has Down Syndrome, has been getting by with a wheelchair that frequently shorts out.

His family is saving to get a J6 wheelchair with a tilted seat so Derrick can get around more comfortably.

America and Derrick were thrilled and moved by the gift. 

America said that it is sometimes hard for Derrick to participate in activities that require certain physical access. 

“Sometimes when you have a special needs child, a lot of activities are not within your reach, and we sometimes get left out of activities because we physically can’t access that,” she said. “The fact that somebody thought enough of our family to do that for us, it’s an unexpected surprise, and whoever did this has a heart of gold.”

The sender of the gift is still unknown. 

They only left a note that said, ‘Wishing you wonderful holidays full of laughter and joy. Merry Christmas!’

The family is attending the attraction on Thursday. 

“Just thank you from the bottom of my heart,” America said.

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