Alabama Chick-fil-A opened on Sunday so a boy with special needs could fulfill his birthday wish

A special needs teenager celebrated his 14th birthday by making a dream come true.

Elijah Sprague is a special young man, and he had a special dream. Elijah wanted to work at a drive-thru window at his favorite restaurant, Chick-fil-A. 

On his 14th birthday, a Chick-fil-A in his native Mobile Alabama opened on a Sunday to make that dream come true.

"He knew every single person who came through," Sprague said. "He was chucking cookies out the window. He thought it was hilarious and he was talking to everybody." 

Rene Sprague


Elijah is autistic and has cerebral palsy, as well as difficulty speaking, and some of the activities that most teens take for granted are out of his reach. 

Elijah's uncle, Walt Gilstrap is the manager of the Chick-fil-A, and he and the owner Mr. Glen opened the restaurant and the drive-thru window so Elijah could fulfill his dream of working the drive-thru on his birthday. Gilstrap is the brother of Elijah's mom, Rene Sprague.


Elijah was in his element as his friends drove through and each received a cookie from the birthday boy. To the young man's delight over 40 cars drove by and were served.

To the young man's delight over 40 cars drove by and were served.


After trying his hand at the drive-thru window, Elijah sat down at the restaurant and blew out his candles with his friends and family and everyone had a slice of the cookie cake the staff had made especially for him.


Rene Sprague is a nurse and she first saw Elijah at the Neonatal intensive care where she worked.

Elijah was born 18 weeks premature, and doctors told the Spragues he would only live about a year. Nonetheless, the Spragues were determined to offer him a home and adopted him when he was 6 months old.

The family has never looked back, and Elijah is a joyful and happy boy despite hjis difficulties.

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In another Chick-fil-A in Corpus Christi, Texas, an employee has inspired people by helping a disabled customer eat his dinner.

Arturo Ramirez is disabled, and he is a regular customer at the Chick-fil-A where he usually eats alone.

Chick-fil-A employee Ashley Gusman decided to make a change:

“Usually, we help him around and get his food but that day I helped him. I got him his food and I went around and I sat with him.”

Her act was kindness was noted by other customers who snapped a photo of the incident and posted it on social media where it has gone viral.

Jessica Gomez wrote the Facebook post .captioned it:

“The times I’ve been here everyone just leaves him. She cut his food into pieces and went back several times to get him whatever he needed. May God bless this woman.”

Bless you, Ashley Gusman, and your kind heart.

In a related story, the staff at a Texas Chick-fil-A go beyond the call of duty and help deliver a customer's baby.

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