Northboro family in spotlight at VP debate
NORTHBORO, Mass. (WHDH) -- A local family shared the spotlight during Thursday night’s vice presidential debate.
“Mitt asked if he could come over on Christmas. He brought his boys, his wife and gifts. Later on he said ‘I know you’re struggling Mark. Don’t worry about their college - I’ll pay for it,’” said Paul Ryan during Thursday’s vice presidential debate.
The family had no idea Paul Ryan planned to mention them.
“We kind of gasped and we looked at each other, like wow,” said Mark Nixon.
Sheryl and Mark Nixon were stunned when Ryan spoke about their family during the debate.
"I was talking to a family in Northborough, Massachusetts the other day. Sheryl and Mark Nixon. Their kids were hit in a car crash, four of them. Two of them--Rob and Reed--were paralyzed. The Romneys didn't know them; they went to the same church. They'd never met before. Mitt asked if he could come over on Christmas. He brought his boys, his wife and gifts…I’m going to pay for your college,” said Ryan.
Ryan talked about Romney’s visit to the Nixon home in 1995. This was a few months after Sheryl and Mark’s two teenage sons, Reed and Rob, were paralyzed in a car accident following a church service. Reed Nixon was left with no movement or feeling below his neck. Rob Nixon lost use of both his legs.
“I had no idea that the Romneys were going to be coming over. It was just amazing having all the boxes come in and unwrapping them,” said Reed Nixon, who was helped by Mitt Romney.
“We’re just happy that the story is getting out about how Mitt Romney, what his true character is because he doesn’t tell these things himself,” said Sheryl Nixon.
The Romneys didn’t know the Nixons, but had heard about them through the Mormon church that both families attend. Romney had even offered to pay the Nixon boys’ college bills.
“He didn’t know at the time that our boys would go through on scholarship and various things,” said Sheryl Nixon.
Rob Nixon went to BYU on a full scholarship. Reed Nixon graduated from Bentley.
The Nixons said after seeing their story on TV Ryan called the family and asked permission to talk about it on the campaign trail. The family said yes.
“It’s a clear story that refutes that whole notion that Mitt Romney doesn’t car,” said Mark Nixon.
“He is someone that understands peoples hardships and when he -- you may not always agree with his politics, but you can trust in what he says,” said Reed Nixon.
The Nixons said they haven’t done any campaigning for Romney, but they said they’d be happy to if asked because they want to tell everyone about the Romney they know.