His story spread across the country after he wrote Amanda and Kelly a letter. He was only 10 at the time but we were struck by his compassion and love for his brother.
You dare to hope such a kind heart will remain so during the turbulent teenage years, and that's why Kelly had to talk with him again, and we got more than we expected.
Prom night at Edmond Memorial High School, this year on the new football field where a big white tent was serving as a makeshift ballroom. The prom: A rite of passage for so many teenagers.
“Hattie was excited to get ready. I fixed her hair, put her in rollers all day,” said Jennifer Witherby, who has a special needs daughter at Memorial. “And she likes to put pretty dresses on.”
Hattie is one of the much-loved students in the Special Ed class at Edmond Memorial. Parked right on the edge of the action Prom night she caught another student's eye.
“I saw her there and realized she was just with her parents,” recalled Tobias Bass.
If you recognize that name, you know what happened next, if you don't let us introduce you.
“Every time I see my brother staring outside and he’s looking at kids riding their bikes and he cries,” a 10-year-old Tobias told News 9.
That was 8 years ago. As a little boy Tobias wrote to Kelly and Amanda asking if they could help him borrow a jogging stroller to push his older brother Titus in a 5k race. The story of their brotherly love was picked up by news outlets across the nation. They appeared on network programs. A company donated a stroller and Tobias and Titus ran in multiple races together.
Tobias still helps take care of his older brother, sitting with him, bathing him. They're bond has grown even stronger. Loving on Titus has molded Tobias' character.
Back to Prom night.
“He was like ‘Do you mind if we take your daughter to dance?’ And I said, ‘Are You sure?” remembered Hattie’s dad Scott.
Tobias said “Of course.”
“I said, ‘Do you want to dance with us?’ and her face just lit up. Made my night more than prom did,” said Tobias.
And they danced. Hattie, Tobias, and his girlfriend Katelyn.
‘Oh, it gets you,” said Scott. “I mean the heart strings. You try to look away and my wife’s sitting there. She’s got the water works going.”
“She does have limitations, but you want her to experience that kind of joy,” added Jennifer.
“One of my friends told me that my sister went in to dance,” recalled Hattie’s brother Eli who was her date to the prom. “I thought who could this be? And so, I went in to the dance floor and I saw Tobias dancing with my sister. I was not surprised one bit.”
“The spirit in which Tobias asked her to dance was so humbling and you could tell that he really wanted to make her have a special night,” said Jennifer.
“I wanted it to be the best night of her year,” said Tobias.
“Some other kids came up and asked her to dance but actually she wanted to dance with Tobias and Katelyn,” added Jennifer.
Who can blame her? Hattie has good taste in men.
Eight years later, same hair... same heart.