John Donnelly and Mark Wheaton rescued an elderly man traveling along U.S. 1 in a wheelchair at mile marker 104 in Key Largo. It appeared this disabled man was panicking, as he struggled to seek some sort of shelter that might protect him from a torrential downpour.
I watched Mr. Donnelly and Mr. Wheaton lift this large paralyzed man out of his wheelchair and place him into a vehicle to be transported home. Mr. Wheaton folded up his chair and placed it in the back of an SUV. Two other vehicles pulled alongside to see if they could lend any assistance. I had to pull my car off the road because of the blinding force of the rain.
I graduated from Coral Shores High School where Mr. Donnelly was a teacher and Mr. Wheaton a student. I admire and respect them both.
The lessons taught by Mr. Donnelly have positively impacted many young men and women. A broad range of students, not in his class, sought him out seeking answers and solutions. Mr. Donnelly never turned anyone away. He was trusted and revered.
Mr. Wheaton was a leader and star student/athlete while attending school. The integrity and leadership that he developed has served our community well. His customer centered business and advocacy positions are supported and well known. Many have been blessed through his generosity and philanthropic spirit.
It did my soul well to see the gallant and immediate response tendered by Donnelly and Wheaton as they went into action, sparing this defenseless man further harm.