Carter Co. man with autism received more than 1,000 Valentine's cards from across country


Three weeks ago, News 5 introduced you to Mark Ferrell, a young man with severe autism. His mom told us even though Mark is 23, he has the mind of a two-year-old.

This is his favorite time of the year. He loves Valentine's Day. Mark has been collecting Valentine's cards for years. So News 5's Tiana Bohner did a story on how you could send Mark a card too.

On Friday, she went back to his house in Carter County and found out, viewers sprang into action to give Mark a very special Valentine's Day.

Almost every inch of their house is now covered with Valentine's Day cards.

"We started off with a small little box and now we have humongous boxes," his mother Connie Ferrell said.

For the last three weeks, Mark has spent each day, waiting for the mailman.

"I said you got all kinds of mail and he sat down and looked at them," his mom said.

She told us more than a thousand cards poured in from across the country. Mark even got a postcard from DisneyWorld.

And every day, Mark sits near his mom as she reads each card to her son. Then it's time to tape them up on the wall. Some of Mark's favorites are of super heroes, animals and musical cards.

Connie is also touched to hear from others with similar stories.

"Parents had wrote that they had autistic children, some wrote they had grandchildren with autism," Connie said.

And one card company didn't forget Mark's love to write cards. American Greetings sent him a box of blank cards to send out this Valentine's.

Connie said he'll use them to write 'Thank You' cards to as many people as possible.

"We appreciate them," Connie said. "As long as they send them, we'll keep putting them up!"

It's not too late to send Mark a card. His address is 109 Hidden Oaks Lane, Roan Mountain Tennessee 37687.

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