A 30-year-old man with special needs has been given a whole new lease on life thanks to his former teacher who he had not seen in years.

Two months ago, police found Chris Barrington wandering the streets of Gatesville, Texas. Since Barrington’s father had been struggling with late-stage leukemia, he had lost the ability to move, leaving him unable to care for his son.

Barrington, who can only function at the cognitive level of a 6-year-old, had been lost in the city for two days before he was picked up by police officers. He told the department that he had no other living family members—but he did remember the name of Michell Girard, his former junior high school teacher.

It had been years since Girard had been in contact with her former student, but when police reached out to her about Barrington’s predicament, she couldn’t help but feel responsible for him.

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“I said ‘what happens if I don’t take him? Will he get in a group home?’ They said, ‘no he’ll go in to an institution,’” Girard told KWTX. “I said not on my watch he’s not.”

Girard then took Barrington into her care. Since his father passed away on August 1st, Girard has been applying to become the young man’s official guardian.

Not only that, she threw him his first ever birthday party earlier this month.

“He’s never had a birthday present, a birthday party, he’s never had Christmas, thanksgiving, nothing,” she added. “So this year is going to be full of firsts.”

(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photo by ABC News

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