It’s been a tough year for 10-year-old Sonny Boyd, to say the least.
He was diagnosed with cancer, spent a month in the hospital, broke his leg and tested positive for the coronavirus.
All Sonny wanted for Christmas, his mom, Mia Boyd said, was a PlayStation 5, so he could have something to do while stuck inside his South Philadelphia house.
The only problem is that the video game console, which was released last month, has been hard to find, and Mia Boyd put out a plea on social media, offering to pay anyone who had an extra on their hands.
Then, in through the door, came 16-year-old Angel Otero.
He secured a PS5 after his mother won a Facebook raffle. Otero, who’s friends with Boyd’s older sons, picked it up Saturday night and went straight to their house to give it to Sonny.
“I just thought him being so young and him actually wanting it more,” said Otero, a junior at Roman Catholic High School. “I thought his happiness and his ability to play it would be more important than me.”
“My son was really excited,” Boyd said. “We haven’t seen him smile like that in a while.”
Sonny is in remission; his brain tumor has remained stable since October. His leg is in a cast, still recovering from a slow-healing break that occurred while Sonny was sliding into third base during a game in New Jersey.
“He’s been through more than what some adults have been through in their lifetime,” Boyd said.
COVID-19 swept through the family, but Sonny recovered from that, too.
“He was really just speechless,” Otero said, recalling the youngster’s face when he handed over the PlayStation 5.
Otero, who lives a few blocks away, didn’t want money, but, Boyd said, she shoved about $500 in his pocket, about what the gaming device is selling for in stores.
“I figured that I wanted that to be my gift to him, so I took all the money and just bought as many toys as I could,” the teenager said.
He plans to send the toys to his grandmother, who is the pastor of a church in Wilmington. Then, she will ship them to the Dominican Republic, so poor children there will have something for Christmas.
Otero’s generous actions went viral on social media, with Roman Catholic’s Facebook post about it getting more than 900 shares.
“I’m thankful for my opportunity to help other people and I thank the Boyd family for just being there,” said Otero, who plays for the school’s basketball team.
Boyd said Sonny plays the PS5 non-stop, exchanging it for his school laptop as soon as virtual classes wrap up. His favorite games are NBA 2K21 and Fortnite.
Otero, who described himself as a “little bit” of a gamer, could have kept the console for himself or sold it, Boyd said.
“He didn’t have to do this for my son,” she said. “He’s a kid himself.”