The policeman’s kind act is a lesson in the power of compassion.
In 2015, Oklahoma Officer Jody Thompson overheard a dispatch of a case of child abuse and rushed to the scene despite being off duty. In 16 years on the force, he’d responded to plenty of child abuse calls, but this one absolutely shocked him.
When he arrived, he found a severely underweight boy submerged in a trash can full of cold water. The boy’s wrists were bound by belts and he had bruises head-to-toe.
“He did not have a spot on his body that didn’t have a bruise or abrasion,” Thompson told CBS News in a 2017 story. “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
Thompson drove the boy, John, to the Oklahoma Children’s Advocacy Center to take photos and then to the emergency room.
“I sat with him,” Thompson said. “And when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day.”
John realized then and there that he wanted to take care of this child.
“When I’d seen him in that house shivering and his hands tied — just soaking wet and confused — I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me,” Thompson said.
Three kids in two years
A day later, Thompson registered to be a foster parent and a couple of days after that he was able to bring the boy home.
Thompson already had two kids, 15 and 8, but when he came home with John he didn’t tell them or his wife, but they understood that it was the right thing to do. “Everyone knew… they trusted I was doing the right thing before they even knew what happened and heard the story,” he told CBS News.
Two days later, John’s wife found out she was pregnant with their third biological son. But the family kept growing.
Seven months after that, John’s mother had given birth to a baby girl while in prison. Officials asked the Thompsons if they would foster her. They agreed and officially adopted both John and Paizley on February 16, 2017.
“We literally picked her up in the hospital the next day when she was a day old and brought her straight home,” Thompson said.
“Never in my life did I dream of having a large family, but God had different plans and so here we are. And I’m loving it all.”
‘You never know what you’re going to walk into’
In a statement posted to Facebook, Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen commended Thompson for his actions.
“Jody’s actions as well has his families are second to none. The example of love and compassion he has shown to this young man and his sister is an example everyone should follow,” he said. “It’s men like you that make me proud of our law enforcement brothers and sisters. You are very deserving of this commendation. I am proud to serve with you.”
As for Thompson, he said his actions should be taken as a lesson for other challenges in life.
“We went through something bad, but we’re not going got let it define who were are. We’re not going to let this hold us back,” he told CBS News.
“Always have compassion, you never know what you’re going to walk into.”
Called to compassion
Having one new child is a lot, let alone three in two years! But the Thompsons knew they’d been literally called to action and chose to be compassionate. For that, they are heroic.