AL boy with autism gets big birthday surprise

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A child with autism in Opelika received a big surprise for his seventh birthday.

This is Carson:

Carson with Ana at hi 7th birthday party
Carson with Ana at hi 7th birthday party (Brandon / WTVM)

“This child had to fight for his life when I first had him,” explains Gabrielle Stallings, Carson’s mother. “He was born at 31 weeks and two days. I had to go to UAB and he was in the NICU for over a month and he was in the transition room for three weeks. He had to weigh four pounds before he could come home and he was born at two pounds.”

Stallings said birthdays have not been easy, "Every birthday something has happened."

After over 20 people RSVP’d to his 6th birthday party last year, no one showed up. This year Opelika local, Jessi Minor, heard about Carson’s story and wanted to make sure this year was different.

Minor manages the Tiger Town Zaxby’s in Opelika. When she heard Carson’s story, she had to do something.

“They were requesting Hot Wheels on Facebook, but we wanted to do something more for him,” said Minor.

She decided to use her resources to make his birthday special. Minor contacted Carson’s mom to let her know that Zaxby’s would provide all of the food for Carson’s party. But there was more, Minor also brought all of the restaurant’s kid’s night characters to play with Carson and his friends.

“I am trying not to cry because I have not seen him this carefree and happy in a long time,” said Stallings. “They are all interacting with him and understanding.”

Olaf, Elsa, Anna, Batman and Batwoman all showed up to make Carson’s day unforgettable. While he preferred Anna and Batman, he spent plenty of time on the playground with all of the characters.

“I am holding back tears,” said Minor. “It is extremely sweet. I am glad that we could do something for him.”

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