WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Our Western Mass News Surprise Squad is helping a local grandmother swing into action with her grandson who suffers from epilepsy.
It all started when her sister contacted us and nominated her.
West Springfield's Lynn Facto is reaching out to the Western Mass News Surprise Squad to show her sister how much she's loved and appreciated.
"She's just there for him every day," Facto tells us.
Gail Croake takes care of her 6-year-old grandson, Oliver, on a regular basis.
"Oliver has probably twenty to thirty seizures a day. He's also nonverbal autistic and she battles for that little boy every day of his life. Her son's a Holyoke firefighter, so on his days that he works at the fire station, she has him, so sometimes three to four times a week. She works full time, has MS, and is a cancer survivor so...She does so much, along with his parents, to get him what he needs, what he deserves," explained Facto.
Reporter: "What is the bond like with the grandmother and grandson, Gail and Oliver?"
"It's unbreakable. She loves that little boy more than she loves anything in this world," stated Facto.
Lynn tells Western Mass News that Oliver loves the water and to swing at his grandparents.
"An adaptable swing would be amazing. Something he can.. if he's having a seizure and he's harnessed. He can't be on a regular swing," said Facto.
The Western Mass News Surprise Squad is taking a trip to Northampton and surprising Gail at her workplace.
"Ever since he was about three months old, we found out he had epilepsy. Then, at 3 years old, he was diagnosed with autism. He's nonverbal. He's just the best. I wouldn't have him any other way. It is what it is. When things come up, I just dealt with it and had the MS diagnosis once. Didn't think I had it again. Came back a few years ago. I had melanoma. Just doing what I have to do to be here for Oliver," continued Croake.
Reporter: "We wanted to give you something for you and Oliver to enjoy together. This is part of it. $300 towards Great Wolf Lodge."
"He loves water. It's his favorite thing. He just plays in the water. He just sits there and plays in it...It's a new swing for him. It's another one of his favorite things to do is to swing. [Does he need that?] He does need that. Yes, he's outgrowing his other ones. This is fabulous. Thank you," says Croake.
Reporter: "And all that you've been through how much joy does Oliver bring you?"
"110% he's the best," stated Croake.
"It's all we think about, what're we going to do with him today, tomorrow, yesterday. It's on and on. She's the best woman I ever met. I've been with her forty years and it's the best forty years of my life. That's for sure," Gail's husband added.