Teacher Barb Heim is not finished for the day until she drives 20 minutes to visit a student who is fighting for his life.
“Heim, who is in her 35th year as a first-grade teacher at Conneaut Valley Elementary School in Conneautville, Pennsylvania, has gone the extra mile to make sure second-grader Harrison Conner keeps his spirits up and his learning on track as he goes through treatment for leukemia,” the Today Show reported Friday.
Throughout the pandemic, teachers everywhere have been going to great lengths for their students. @HarrySmith shares the story of an incredible Pennsylvania teacher who is literally going a few extra miles for one special little boy. pic.twitter.com/hJbkVUr4q8
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 7, 2021
Harrison has continued with online school because of his medical condition so Heim made the effort to bring the class to him each day once school is over.
“It was a joy, because I knew he wanted to learn,” the teacher recalled. “He couldn’t wait. He was so excited. And he’d have his off days if medicine was causing him to not feel up to it. It wasn’t the best day for him, but we made it through. And he always did his best.”
Leukemia is a form of cancer in one’s blood-forming tissues that includes bone marrow and the lymphatic system, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website.
Toward the close of 2019, Heim noticed something was not quite right with Harrison during recess when he would turn pale and find a seat while the other children played.
The school nurse later informed his mom, Suzanne, prior to the school closing for Christmas. Heim heard the news about Harrison’s diagnosis when classes resumed.
“One of these little guys from my class walks in the doorway, makes a beeline to my desk, and says, ‘Mrs. Heim, Harrison went on a helicopter ride to the hospital,”’ she explained.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Heim took action to make sure her student did not fall behind.
“Ever since the minute he was diagnosed … she has been absolutely amazing. She has kept Harrison such a part of the kids’ lives in school and making sure that he feels remembered,” Suzanne noted.
Harrison has reached remission but must endure another year and a half of treatments.
“I’m lucky to be his teacher,” Heim said, adding, “I’m the lucky one.”