Photo of Cop Giving Quadriplegic Man Sip of Water Goes Viral


While some people are comfortable sharing their day-to-day lives on social media, others prefer to share sparingly.

Erica Melton from Prattville, Alabama, shares sparingly about her husband’s life on social media. Douglas Melton is a quadriplegic, and his wife prefers to refrain from discussing his medical condition online.

But after her experience with the Prattville Police Department on a hot summer day, Erica decided to share the whole story online, in hopes people would read the truth about officers in her hometown.

When their van broke down, the couple had to problem solve their way out of a hot, potentially dangerous situation, all while Douglas sat securely in his wheelchair, buckled inside the van.

Erica stepped out of her van and waved down a police officer for help. Prattville police Sgt. T.R. Hope was the man who responded, and his actions left a lasting impression on Erica.

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Hope helped Erica push their van to safety and insisted on staying with the couple until a tow truck arrived and the Melton’s could be transported to safety.

As they waited, Hope made sure the couple stayed hydrated and as comfortable as possible in the humid summer heat. Erica was moved when she saw the officer giving her husband a drink of water.

By the end of the day, the Melton’s were amazed by the way stranger after stranger stopped by to help and offer food or water. The tow truck driver was kind, the driver who helped Douglas into a working vehicle was patient.

Each interaction left Erica and Douglas with a sense of hope — Prattville was full of good-hearted people.

Hope dismissed any praise placed at his feet, chalking it up to simply doing his job. “I didn’t do anything different than any other Prattville police officer would have done,” Hope said.

But Erica disagreed, saying that Hope’s kind demeanor and thoughtful approach to interacting with her husband went above the typical call of duty.

“He was so gentle and nice,” Erica said. “He didn’t have to do it.”

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Emphasizing community care is an important aspect of police work that is often overlooked and underreported.

“We try to make a difference any way we can,” Hope said. “I am glad God was able to put me there in that spot that day to be there.”

Erica hopes her story, which has gained a lot of attention on social media, will be a lesson in unity.

“I hope it teaches everyone that we must remain unified to help,” Erica said. “No matter who it is.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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