We can all agree that getting stopped by the police for traffic infractions is never fun.
But in one Oregon grandmother’s case, it might have been the nicest things that’s ever happened to her—and the most inspiring thing for the cop, too.
Deputy Craig Wellhouser was about to give one grandmother a ticket when he stopped to listen to her story.
He may not be a barista, but motorcycle Deputy Craig Wellhouser sure did bring out the smiles at the Starbucks drive-thru yesterday while passing out sheriff's badge stickers to the public!
In June, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Wellhouser stopped a woman with the intent of writing her a ticket for a minor traffic violation.
However, when he went up to speak with her, the two began to converse. The woman told him she was on her way to the hospital to visit her granddaughter, 3-year-old Evelyn.
Her granddaughter was born with a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or “half heart.” At the time, she was in the hospital recovering from her third open-heart surgery—and it might not be her last, either.
The woman’s story touched Wellhouser—he wanted to meet this incredible little girl.
After Wellhouser heard Evelyn’s story, he was deeply moved.
“It just inspired me, her warrior spirit, that I definitely wanted to meet this little girl,” Deputy Wellhouser told KATU2 News.
Instead of giving the woman a ticket, Wellhouser organized a surprise. With two of his colleagues, they decided to visit Evelyn and her family at the hospital.
So, Wellhouser and two other deputies surprised and delighted everyone as they stepped into the little girl’s hospital room at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
“To have these guys come through the door is kind of a relief; to see the kindness they’ve shared to see the community kind of coming together and getting behind you, it’s been amazing,” Tim Eckard, Evelyn’s father, told KATU2 News.
That wasn’t the end of their heartwarming encounter, though.
Even though Wellhouser and the other deputies went to see and support Evelyn, they also brought a special gift for Evelyn’s older brother, Gabe: a special 175th anniversary challenge coin.
It was as sweet a gesture as any family could hope for, but Wellhouser, compelled by Evelyn’s story, was not ready to call it a day.
On Tuesday, June 12, Deputy Wellhouser met up with Evelyn’s family again at Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue station 35, according to a Sheriff’s Office Facebook post. There, the firefighters gave the whole family a tour of the facilities.
Wellhouser didn’t do it for the accolades—just the smile of one brave little girl.
Wellhouser, and other deputies, presented Gabe with an action figure and prepared a special gift for Evelyn as well; they found out that her favorite cartoon character was Minnie Mouse, so they gave her a gift card to the Disney Store.
This kind police officer did not save lives, nor did he hand the family a check for millions of dollars, but, to Evelyn and her family, it made all the difference.
“It made me happy,” Evelyn said.
And for Wellhouser, that was more than enough.
“Everyone’s facing a battle somewhere, so maybe take the time to listen and see if you can help,” Wellhouser told KATU2 News.