Police officers are vitally important for keeping the community safe, and are often perceived as tough and hardened guardians of the law. What they are not so often given credit for, but which this story shows, is their underlying humanity, compassion, and kindness that they frequently demonstrate on the job.
On Feb. 1st in Lower Merion Township, PA, Officer Michael Aluise responded to a medical emergency at the home of mother and father Maggie and Chris Corrado. Their daughter, Mason, 4, was having a seizure. They had just had dinner when Mason began feeling sick and became unresponsive.
When Officer Aluise got the call for an unconscious 4-year-old, he reacted differently. He told the Pennsylvania Inquirer, “I might get six or seven medical calls a shift, but when you see that it’s an unconscious child, you act differently, you respond differently.”
He got to the house quickly, in spite of the ice and snow on the road, and found Mason to be unconscious but still breathing. It was clear she was having seizure. Other officers arrived with oxygen and monitored her vital signs.
When the ambulance arrived, Aluise could see the fear in Maggie’s eyes. Aluise simply told her, “I have five daughters.” That was all she needed to hear. Mason was driven by medics to Bryn Mawr Hospital, and was eventually transferred to Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. She was treated successfully, but the cause of her seizure is still a mystery.
The call left a mark on everyone, including Aluise. The next morning, thinking of his own daughters, he realized that the Corrado family must be having a tough time, and decided to do something special.
His kids loved unicorns, so he went to a store and bought a unicorn and a unicorn blanket for Mason. It was the first time he had ever done such a thing during his career. He stopped by the Corrado home to drop off the gifts. Chris answered the door while Maggie and Mason were resting from their visit to the hospital.
Aluise told Chris, “I’m thinking about Mason and about you guys. Here’s something for when she’s up and about. I just want to let you know that (police officers) are human too. We have families; we understand.”
Mason fell in love with the unicorn, which she named Poppy, and the family was so touched they posted about the officer’s kind act on the Lower Merion Community Facebook page, where it received a lot of views and comments. A local television station also came out to interview Maggie.
Aluise, who is not on social media, was initially unaware of the reaction to the story, and hadn’t taken credit for anything, but was surprised when he saw the outcome. At the end of the day, he hopes the story will give people a more well-rounded view of police officers.
“I love my job, but at the end of the day, it’s my job. I am not a police officer first. We are husbands, fathers, mothers, wives. That’s why we react certain ways to calls. It’s really not necessarily the policeman in you. It’s who we really are that comes out. It was good for people to see that.”