HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A Myrtle Beach airport employee hopes a care package full of Grand Strand goodies will help lift the spirits of an eight-year-old boy who is suffering from a rare lung disease.
Patrick Batey, an operations supervisor at Myrtle Beach International Airport, met eight-year-old Marcus Tolbert from Rochester, Minnesota through gaming and the two became online friends.
In July, Tolbert suffered a lung collapse and was medically transported to Houston, Texas where he is awaiting a double lung transplant.
Batey recently flew out to Houston to see Tolbert and keep him company while he waits for his transplant.
When Batey got back from his trip, he confided with Horry County police Sgt. Joe Dorio about the little boy’s struggle. Batey asked Dorio if he could donate a challenge coin to send to Tolbert and that jumpstarted the creation of a care package for Tolbert.
The care package started with Horry County Police Department collectibles. Then news about it quickly spread around the airport. Items from the Horry County Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, the aviation team and airline partners were collected and put in the care package, which was sent to Tolbert on October 24.
Batey’s selfless act earned him the Employee of the Quarter award by Horry County Government.
He calls Tolbert and his family at least once a week and they talk online every few days.
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