A mum has thanked a kind-hearted supermarket worker who came to her rescue when she could not buy the supplies she needed for her disabled son.
Emma Hooper’s six-year-old son Mason has severe autism, which means he will only eat a very limited number of things.
When 31-year-old Emma could not find what she needed in her local Tesco, she passed her details to staff member Amanda Tatler – hoping for a phone call when the goods came into stock.
But Emma and her partner Nathan Monks, who are both key workers, were astonished when Amanda turned up on her doorstep the following day with a bag full of products – and refused to take any payment for them.
Emma, of Talke, said: “Mason has multiple disabilities. He’s severely autistic, he can’t speak and when we go out he has to use a wheelchair. He generally struggles through life.
“He has a sensory processing disorder which links to his food. It means you can’t just give him any food – he would rather starve than eat something new. It’s linked with extreme levels of anxiety. He lives off a very limited diet.
“We have to live our lives very differently to the average person. It can be very isolating.”
Emma, who works in a Stoke-on-Trent high school, followed Government guidelines and left the family’s shopping trip until it was essential. She then went to Tesco in Kidsgrove where she regularly shops for Mason’s food.
She said: “There was plenty of food on the shelves but because we are so specific I couldn’t find the exact breakfast bars I wanted for Mason.
“When I was paying at the till I asked the lady if there were any available. She said not but asked for my details and said she would get back to me. I said that was great and I was going to go back for them.
“The next morning there was a knock at the door and there she was. I didn’t know her name at that point. She put a big bag on the doorstep and stepped away.”
The goodies included boxes of the breakfast bars Emma had been looking for as well as several other products.
Emma said: “I was completely blown away by it. I asked how much I owed her and she refused to take anything. She was amazing.”
Thirty-four-year-old Amanda, of Kidsgrove, has worked at the town’s Tesco store since 2016. The mum-of-three said: “Emma asked me when we were getting the product in stock and I could see she was quite upset about it.
“I asked for her name and number but I didn’t want to pass it on in case it was forgotten about. It broke my heart when I got home so I searched high and low until I found the things she wanted in Home Bargains and Iceland.
“I thought if I can help somebody and put a smile on a child’s face I was more than happy to go and do it. I would do the same for anyone who was struggling.”
Since Amanda’s kind act, Emma and Nathan, who is an HGV driver, have been in touch with Tesco to tell them about it. It has also led to other families reaching out to offer help.
Emma said: “I posted about it on Facebook and the community have really come forward. People I don’t even know have been asking if they can help and have come round with stuff. We were quite isolated but we have got to know more people.
“It’s great that we can talk about this because April is also autism awareness month.
“I want to say a massive thank you to Amanda. She’s a frontline hero.”
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