For 21 years, David Bloch has lived life mostly without speaking.
Diagnosed with autism at an early age, he spoke only when prompted. That is, until last week, when he asked his parents his first question ever.
“Would someone like me?”
His mom, Kerry Bloch, 61, took to Twitter to post his query. Immediately, she got much more than she bargained for — practically all the reactions were supportive and kind.
"He can't get the communication part out, but when I told him, I said, 'David, you have friends,''' Kerry told TODAY. "I've read every single reply and message to him. We've been up day and night for the last six days trying to answer every single message and tweet.
"He'll be looking at a picture and say, 'Nice, pretty, funny.'''
From animal accounts to grandmothers, people responded with heartfelt messages of support.
“My grandson is a 7 yr old, he’s autistic too, this year he started to speak a little. He told me he loved me. My heart soared. Today my heart soars for you, please tell your son I would definitely like him. Hugs,” a user named Alice Caffrey tweeted.
“Hey pal.. I bet you’re not the only one feeling this. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to say - buddy, every individual is special. And every kind individual deserves to be loved. I bet you’re more loved and liked than you know. Sending love from me to you,” a cat named Boo in the United Kingdom also responded.
The response that has moved David the most has been from his beloved Jacksonville Jaguars, whose games he watches over and over every week at the family's home in nearby Neptune Beach, Florida.
The team made a video of various players saying they wanted to be David's friend.
"He was in tears,'' his mother said. "I think he's watched it about a hundred times now, and he's just amazed by that."
David was often isolated while growing up, not because of his autism but because of a severe immunodeficiency disorder in which only 20% of his immune system functions properly, his mother said.
"He's never been around friends, he's never been to parties or anything like that,'' she said. "I just feel like he missed so much because of that immune disorder."
David, Kerry's only child with her husband, Robert, 56, is the couple's "miracle baby."
"We got married in our late thirties, and I went through seven surgeries and was told by a fertility specialist to give up because I had a 0% chance of having a child,'' she said. "Six months later, we found out we were having a baby. It's been one miracle after another, so we'll just enjoy the ride and see where it takes us."
Kerry tweeted later that she and David were “overwhelmed” by the responses to David's question — and that was “putting it mildly."
“Our hearts have never been touched like this. I am reading every reply to David. It’ll take time but know that every one of you have blessed us,” she tweeted. “Love you all!”
David later made a sign thanking everyone for being his friend and has seemed happier since the outpouring of love, his mother said.
"He came up to me last night before he went to bed and said, 'Trust people,''' she said.