Toddler Runs After Pizza Delivery Man For a Hug -- Not Knowing His Own Child Just Died

Cohen Sheely
Fox 8

Sometimes, even the smallest gestures can have the greatest impact on another person's life. Just ask 2-year-old Cohen Sheely, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, who recently made sure his pizza delivery man, Ryan Catterson, got a great big hug before he left. In the end, that hug proved to be better than any tip Catterson could have received, for reasons the toddler never could have known. Luckily, the whole thing was caught on camera, which is why it's now going viral on social media -- along with the touching story behind it.

  • It happened on February 15, which was otherwise a typical Saturday night for Catterson, who was working his regular shift.

    Most pizza deliveries happen in the blink of an eye -- simply hand over the goods, collect your tip, and be on your way. But little Cohen didn't want Catterson to leave without getting a special hug goodbye.

    The moment was caught on the Sheely family's doorbell camera, Fox 8 reports. And later, Cohen's mom, Lindsey, was so glad she caught the touching moment in a video, she shared it online.

    "I put it up on my Instagram," Lindsey told the news station. "Actually, I just put it up in my [Instagram] stories because we thought it was funny and cute.”

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  • But the most heartwarming part of the story was really what was going on behind the scenes.

    Catterson later shared that he had recently lost his 16-year-old daughter, who was struggling with mental health issued and lived in California with Catterson's ex-wife. 

    There was no way that little Cohen could have known just how much the grieving dad needed a hug. But Catterson couldn't have been more touched by the toddler's kindness.

    “After losing my daughter this past week, it just touched me because it was like she was there, you know, and it just meant a ton to me,” he shared.

  • Even Catterson's ex-wife told the news station that she was “grateful that someone saw his pain and could be there for him.”

    "It’s so easy to miss people and their internal pain,” Danielle McCord told Fox 8. “That even goes to our daughter, you know. We didn’t know her pain.”

    “It’s going to be tough to know that I’m not going to be able to hug her again,” Catterson added.

  • Lindsey Sheely only learned how much her son's gesture truly meant after Catterson caught wind of the viral video.

    The pizza delivery man eventually saw the video after it began circulating online, and reached out to Lindsey to tell her just how much her son had made his day. 

    “That might have been [my daughter] just looking out for me at the time,” he said of the hug. “Those words mean something, made me think, ‘Wow, maybe she’s there.'”

    A GoFundMe has since been created to raise money for Catterson to help cover expenses for his daughter's funeral.

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