18-year-old Ty Swartout is non-verbal and autistic—and he also loves “The Polar Express.” In addition to reading the book hundreds of times, he makes sure to watch the movie every month.
When his parents heard about a real life “Polar Express” train ride they wanted to surprise him with a trip and ride aboard the train. Ty was fine for the trip, but when it was time to board the train , he just could not do it. The kind staff said they would wait for him to feel better , but his parents told them to go ahead and they would try another time.
“I cried all the way back. My heart was shattered,” she added. “I wanted this so badly for my son.”
Thankfully, she did not have long to weep. After they got back to their hotel room, they heard a knock at the door from a hotel staffer and police officer who had stopped by to make sure that Ty was okay. Not only that, they said that they wanted to do something to make it up to Ty.
As hotel staffers helped Ty’s father Lloyd reschedule their visit on the Grand Canyon Expressway with free special needs accommodations, Ty and Angie curled up to read “The Polar Express” only to be visited by the real-life railway train conductor.