A police officer in South Bend, Indiana, got the surprise of her life recently from a person she saved over 20 years ago.
On July 16, 1998, Officer Anne Hayes responded to a call about a three-year-old child seen wandering in and out of traffic, WNDU reported Wednesday.
The moment Hayes arrived at the scene, she scooped up the boy and placed him safely inside her patrol car, the South Bend Police Department explained in a social media post last week:
He was brought to the department where a civilian employee comforted him with a stuffed animal, but that was all Roberto Thiess could remember about the incident that happened 24 years ago.
Now, Thiess has returned to express his gratitude to Hayes for saving his life.
“I don’t know if massively surprised is the right word or best word, but you know, we do this like every day and you never hear what happens to the kids… and I’m just happy to find out that he did so well and wanted to see me, which is a big surprise too,” Hayes commented.
Theiss appeared at roll call with a bouquet of flowers and told everyone in the room that had it not been for Officer Hayes’ taking care of him that evening, he might not have grown into the man he has become.
Following his rescue, he went into foster care and was later adopted. But as the years passed, he never forgot his guardian angel.
Theiss said he wanted to “let her know again how that little action she did changed my entire life and I cannot express words of gratitude.”
Hayes was deeply touched by the gesture, stating, “Just to know that he never forgot it… that’s just really nice.”
Social media users expressed their joy over the reunion, one person writing, “This is what it’s all about. This is what gives officers the strength both mentally and physically to answer that next call, show up for duty, just be there.”
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