Boy about to undergo huge surgery requests ‘guard dog squad’ and the police amazingly deliver

"He didn't want [the officers] to leave ... I told him they have to protect our city and our homes and where we live."
July 24, 2018 6:58 pm Last Updated: July 24, 2018 6:58 pm

When the Warner Robins Police Department heard a young boy in their community had requested a “guard dog squad” to watch over him during an upcoming surgery, officers knew exactly what to do.

“Those officers were incredible and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to have been with my son Friday morning,” Hannah Manns told Inside Edition. “Officer Lamberth, the officer that spoke the prayer, gave an absolutely incredible prayer.”

Huge shout out to the WRPD this morning. The prayer they prayed with us before we hit the road was enough to leave us speechless! ❤

Posted by Team Jalen on Friday, July 13, 2018

An unknown illness

Roughly a year and a half ago, Jalen Manns started experiencing severe headaches, along with sensitivity to light and sound. Over time he began having trouble sleeping and had issues with anxiety.

Hannah explained to the Houston Home Journal how difficult it was to get a diagnosis for her son:

I took him to the doctor and the first diagnosis we received was that he was just stressed, but I knew it was not that, so I got a second opinion. Well, several doctors later, they are telling me the same thing. We did live in Atlanta, then moved to Arkansas, spent a short time in North Carolina, and recently came back to Warner Robins. The doctors said us moving caused him to be stressed, but again I knew that was not it because Jalen had also lost his appetite. He went from 130 pounds to 88 in one year. That is extreme.

Once the family returned to Warner Robins, Georgia, they switched pediatricians and Hannah insisted her boy get an MRI.


Posted by Team Jalen on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The diagnosis

Jalen, 9, finally received an MRI in late May 2018.

“I was driving when his pediatrician called me and she told me that I needed to come to her office immediately to discuss and suggested not to bring Jalen,” Hannah said. “My heart sank and my mind began racing all over the place.”

The test revealed a rare brain tumor, a thalamic glioma.

She is his biggest fan! #TeamJalen

Posted by Team Jalen on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What’s next?

After seeing his neurosurgeon, it was determined Jalen’s next step was an “extremely high risk” biopsy.

The family decided to go ahead with the procedure, and while they waited for the surgery, scheduled for July 13, Hannah created a Facebook page for Jalen, Team Jalen, in hopes of finding others who could offer advice and support.

“We created the Team Jalen Facebook page… just to see what I could do as a mom to comfort him, because Jalen has really bad anxiety,” she told CBS News.

Posted by Team Jalen on Tuesday, June 19, 2018

With less than two weeks until Jalen’s biopsy, Hannah shared something her 9-year-old son had asked for.

“He requested a ‘guard dog squad’ of German Shepherds so that they can be with him while he’s in surgery,” she wrote.

Several people responded and sent the boy stuffed dogs as well as a fleece blanket to keep him comfortable.

We honestly can’t thank you all enough! He was so happy he cried for 20 minuets which of course led to mommy crying! Thank you all so so so much!

Posted by Team Jalen on Thursday, July 5, 2018

But perhaps the biggest surprise was on the day of Jalen’s procedure.

Several police officers and their K9 companions from the Warner Robins Police Department showed up at Jalen’s home to introduce themselves and pray with him before he went to the hospital—the police department coordinated with the family and set up the special meeting.

Posted by Team Jalen on Friday, July 13, 2018

After Officer Jason Lamberth, who kneeled with Jalen on his front lawn and delivered a prayer that has since gone viral, the officers escorted the boy and his family to the hospital.

“They walked him around the hospital to get him settled,” Hannah told CBS News. “He didn’t want [the officers] to leave … I told him they have to protect our city and our homes and where we live.”

All done! Everything went great and Jalen done amazing, he is currently in the PICU and his dogs are watching over him! Thank you all for the prayers. My “champ” is strong and he’s got this! #TeamJalen

Posted by Team Jalen on Friday, July 13, 2018

On July 13, Jalen had his biopsy and is currently recovering and awaiting the results.

His family shared on Facebook that despite having a “rough time” during pre-op and some pain and tiredness following the biopsy, “all in all he seems to be doing okay.”