Ormond Beach commissioner gives vaccine appointment to 93-year-old stranger

93-year-old Ruth Gras has MS and had difficult time getting appointment

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – News 6 often gets phone calls and messages into the newsroom about people struggling to get the vaccine. Most appointments are offered online and quickly fill up.

Ormond Beach Commissioner Dwight Selby secured an appointment to get the vaccine and decided to pass it along to someone else.

“I was happy to get the appointment, but then within a short time I realized, ‘Do I deserve this? Is there someone more deserving?’” said Selby.

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Selby asked the Volusia County Health Department if he could transfer his appointment to someone else and they said yes.

He took to Facebook, offering up his appointment to someone else in need. He said he received several responses, one from Ruth Gras’ daughter.

“Both of my daughters had been trying to see if they could get a vaccination appointment for me to no avail,” said Gras.

Gras is an active 93-years-old diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“My hands are pretty numb and my feet, but otherwise I don’t have much problem with that,” said Gras.

“It just felt right in my heart that this was the person to pass on my appointment to,” said Selby.

Selby delivered all the documents for the appointment to Gras. A generous gift for someone he didn’t even know.

“It’s not about me, it’s about this system and helping people who need it the most,” said Selby.

Gras said she was surprised by the gesture.

“I couldn’t believe it, I really couldn’t believe it. No one was calling. I have several friends who are also trying to get the vaccine. It was so generous for Dwight to do this,” said Gras.

She was vaccinated at the Volusia County Fairgrounds earlier this week. She says after a year of living in, what seems like a bubble, she has something to look forward to.

“I have a bunch of grandchildren, which I haven’t been able to see much,” said Gras. “I guess I can go around and kiss everybody and they won’t be afraid.”

Selby is a prostate cancer survivor, but said he is healthy now and can wait a little longer for the vaccine.

While Volusia County’s health department allows a transfer of appointment through its registration platform, some county’s like Flagler do not.

If you want to explore this option you need to ask your local health department, or agency offering the vaccine if they’ll allow a transfer.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a multimedia journalist who joined the News 6 team in February 2020. Crystal comes to Central Florida from WKMG’s sister station, WJXT in Jacksonville, where she worked as a traffic anchor and MMJ.