TULARE, Calif. (KSEE) — Xavier Galindo, a fourth-grader at Palo Verde Union Elementary School in Tulare, says friendship and the support of his classmates got him through illness during the pandemic.

Just a few days into the school year, Galindo starting feeling sick. His teacher noticed something wasn’t right.

“We were on Zoom having class and I noticed he wasn’t looking well,” said Lucy Dominguez, Galindo’s teacher.

Galindo was taken to the hospital with chest pain. Doctors said he was suffering from anxiety and was expected to be out of class for a few days. To the surprise of Dominguez and Galindo’s classmates, he was back the very next day.

When asked why he was back, his answer touched Dominguez’s heart.

“He said, ‘Mrs. Dominguez, I need to learn,'” Dominguez explained.

“It got better. It stopped hurting and it never happened again,” explained the fourth-grader.

Galindo was paired up with Anthony Barba to help with school work. That was the start of a good friendship.

“He’s kind of shy, so I made him like being around people more because we have a friend group,” said Barba.

“It’s been a wonderful friendship to see formed over Zoom,” said Dominguez.

Galindo is excited to be back in the classroom.

“You get to do fun things,” he said. “[like] watch movies and play with friends.”