Civil Engineer Volunteers Free Time to Build Special Stairs for Folsom Child With Special Needs

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FOLSOM -- Civil engineer by day, Tye Sheehan spends his free time creating furniture.

Sheehan built 3-year-old Kainoa Simmons his first set of stairs.

"It looks like it's helping him a lot, so we're just super honored to be a part of the process," Sheehan said.

The process began months ago, when Kainoa's mother, Brandi Chew, posted on Facebook, asking for recommendations for a carpenter to build a flight of stairs to help with Kainoa's special needs.

Kainoa was born 12 weeks premature, weighing just 2 pounds and 6 ounces. He suffered two strokes and underwent the first of two brain surgeries at just 2 weeks old.

While he has some visual impairment, the stairs Sheehan built complete with red paint, help him to see better while giving him some independence.

It was Sheehan's friend, Stephen Riley, who owns his own construction company, who first spotted Chew's post.

"Got to the end of the post and thought of Tye. He's incredible, he can build anything," Riley said. "So I was like, 'This is right up our alley. I'll pay for everything, Tye. Let's build this kid something nice.'"

Sheehan completed the stairs over the course of two months, all on his own time.

"Measured my son, measured the area that the stairs are gonna be," Patrick Simmons, Kainoa's father, told FOX40. "We gave him an idea and he just took it and ran with it with his expertise and created this blessing for us."

Working as a child psychologist, Chew says she's always believed in embracing those with special needs.

"So to have someone do that for my son? It's really incredible," she said. "And to be on the receiving end of that? It means a lot."


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