Sapulpa Hardware Store Manager Improvises Help For Disabled Boy

Friday, August 7th 2015, 6:05 pm
By: Richard Clark

A Sapulpa woman took to Facebook to express her gratitude for a hardware store manager's act of kindness.

Sara Diehl said she and her husband, David, took their disabled son to the Ace Hardware store Friday afternoon hoping to buy materials to build a handle for their son's wheelchair.

Sara said their 3-year-old son, Ozmen, has a long list of disorders including a rare form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism and uses a permanent feeding tube.

Sara and her husband didn't bargain on the response they'd get from manager Jerry Grafton.

The Diehls told Grafton they'd bought the chair secondhand and it was missing a handle. They got it because they were looking for something more portable than a regular chair. 

Grafton helped the Diehls find the materials to make a handle, but he didn't stop there. He disassembled the chair, built the handle out of PVC pipe and then put it all back together again.

"I just had an idea that I could build it for them quickly and I asked them if they had some time so I could do something for them," he said.

In 15 or 20 minutes he had the new handle installed on the chair, and in the process earned two new customers for life.

Sara Diehl shared her story on a Facebook page about Sapulpa.

"Most people shy away from us but Jerry asked questions about Ozmen's disorders and talked to him like you would any other child. It took a lot for me to not get emotional. Definitely something I'll never forget," Diehl said.

The Diehls paid for the materials, but couldn't get Grafton to accept anything other than thanks.

"She wanted to give me money for it," Grafton said, "but that's not why I did it."