If you never thought you’d live to see a goldfish in a wheelchair, well, you made it.
On Friday, YouTuber Taylor Nicole Dean of San Antonio, Texas, posted a photo of a goldfish swimming around in a teeny, tiny custom wheelchair that instantly had people cheering and crying — and the waterworks haven’t stopped.
The 19-year-old Dean, known for her educational animal videos, has a friend named Derek who works at an aquarium store in San Antonio.
Derek recently built that tiny wheelchair-like contraption for a customer’s pet goldfish that suffers from swim bladder disease.
The bladder disorder prevented the goldfish from controlling its buoyancy in the water, Derek told Buzzfeed. The little guy kept getting stuck at the bottom of the tank.
So clever Derek created a contraption out of aquarium airline tubing, valves and weights to keep him propped up while he swam.
“I added weights to the bottom of the ‘chair’ and something to keep him afloat on top (styrofoam), and slowly removed pieces until I achieved just the right buoyancy to make it easy for him to swim around without feeling like he’s dragging around a chair,” Derek told Buzzfeed.
“The bottom weight is almost equal to the pull on top so it works quite well for him.”
Dean posted photos of her friend’s ingenious creation to Twitter. “I’ve worked with several injured fish but him going out of his way to help this fish was just precious,” she told Buzzfeed.
She’s not the only one touched by Derek’s act of kindness. He is being hailed as a hero now.
And wheelchair fish?
He’s getting along swimmingly.