A victim of child abuse who was adopted by an Oklahoma police officer is doing well, and is now a straight-A student and part of a loving family.
In 2015, Officer Jody Thompson adopted an abused boy, John, after responding to his “horrific” call. He also adopted the boy’s infant sister two years later when her parents had the baby in jail.
Thompson initially responded to the call while off duty after hearing it come through on the police radio. Given his background in investigating child abuse cases for the district attorney’s office, Thompson lent his assistance.
What he saw, he was unable to walk away from.
“Once I went into the house, I see this little boy, he was facing me, sitting on a couch, I’ll never forget. He was shivering, the kid he was shaking so bad, I guess probably shock and cold because he was soaking wet. He had a knot on his head the size of a tennis ball that that I’ll never forget,” Thompson wrote in People.
The boy was suffering from malnourishment and severe bruising. His hands were bound by belts, according to Thompson.
Thompson immediately put him in protective custody and took him to the ER. He weighed just 61 pounds. Since then, Thompson hasn’t left his side.
“I stayed with him, never left his side. I had separated from the law enforcement side of it. I’d realized that I’d already gotten too involved in this to be objective. I’ve done some crazy cases in my career, but this was one of the craziest. It was bad,” Thompson wrote.
Describing the horrific atrocities, Thompson said the parents would torture the child by sticking him in a storage bin with frozen items from the freezer while spraying him with water.
“And then we find out mom comes up with the idea to put a good sized trashcan inside the house and they’d raise the water up to about his nose level and put cold articles in it from the freezer,” the officer continued.
“But that day was different. They tied his hands together. He was held by his feet and put in headfirst until he quit fighting. They put the lid on the trashcan that day and put stuff on top of the lid. They told John they was going to the store to get ice.”
John was able to escape by climbing out the window once he heard his parents’ truck leave. He then made it to a neighbor’s house, where they called the police.
The parents were eventually charged with child abuse by injury and neglect, both were sentenced to 35 years in prison.
After he was released from the hospital, John was put into a foster home in Poteau, Oklahoma, but Thompson couldn’t stop thinking about his wellbeing, and decided to apply for the boy’s adoption. Things were already getting better for John.
“When we brought John home, we’re trying to get as normal as we can get. John and my son Charley, they’re only six weeks apart in age. So they’re the same age, same grade, two second graders. They were best friends and all that. But it didn’t take long for the sibling rivalry to kick in!” Thompson wrote.
Two years later, the Thompson family adopted Paizley – a baby John’s mother had in jail. In just two years, the Thompson family grew from three to six children, but with the community’s support, they have been able to pull through.
“My police department, this entire town of Poteau, Jeannie’s co-workers at the crisis center where she had been a domestic violence counselor, my family, my siblings, just everyone rallied around us and we’ve never had an issue,” Thompson explained.
John is excelling in school now, with straight-As and is a part of the school marching band and theatre.
“This happening has given me a lot of opportunities to do the things that probably I wouldn’t have gotten to do, find the things that I like and have the ability to pursue what I like. And my parents, they care,” John said.