A police officer officially adopted a young boy and his sister two years after rescuing them from physically abusive parents.
2015 was a turning point for John Thompson, as it marked the end of his long-suffering in the hands of his abusive parents and the onset of the rest of his life.
His new dawn began on a fateful day in April 2015, when Jody Thompson, a Poteau police officer, showed up at his house to find him severely battered, soaking wet, and tied up.
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THE HORRIFIC SCENE
The cop, who had been off-duty on the day, recalled how he came to be at the horrific scene, which changed the rest of his life.
According to him, he heard a child abuse call over the police radio. He decided to check it out, given his background in child abuse investigation for the district attorney's office over the years.
However, he was unprepared for the sight that awaited him at the scene; a malnourished 8-year-old soaking wet and shivering on a couch with a lump on his head. Worse still, he had both his hands bound.
Jody described the horrific scene as one he would never forget. He put the boy in protective custody and personally took him to the emergency room for urgent medical care.
THE MORNING AFTER
Throughout John's time in intensive care, the officer never left his side, ensuring the boy, who weighed only 6lbs, felt loved and protected. Jody explained:
"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."
The youngster spent two days at the hospital before being sent to a traditional foster home in Poteau. Jody admitted he could not get the young lad out of his mind in the days that followed. In the end, he concluded fostering the child was the only means of ensuring his safety.
Before long, he and his wife completed the process required to become his foster parents. They took him home two days later, adding to their 8-year-old son, Charley, and 16-year-old Ryan.
LEAVING THE PAST BEHIND
While John's new family made him feel loved and accepted, memories from his horrendous past kept haunting him. His parents began abusing him from a very young age, beginning with water abuse using a showerhead.
As he grew older, they went beyond spraying him in the face. They began putting him in a gray storage bin filled with selected items from the freezer.
Feeling that wasn't severe enough, John's mom soon came up with the idea of filling a trash can with water up to his nose level and dumping him inside, along with frozen items from the freezer.
That continued for years until he had the final straw. The young lad recalled receiving a more severe treatment that day before heading out to buy some ice.
Sensing the duo were out, the boy struggled his way out of the little confinement, jumped through the window, and headed for a neighbor's house. The concerned neighbor immediately alerted the police.
A NEW BEGINNING
Following investigations, the then-8-year-old's parents were charged with child abuse by injury and neglect. They each received 35 years imprisonment for their crimes.
Months later, Jody and his wife Jeannie Thompson discovered John's mom welcomed a daughter, Zaven, in prison. Coincidentally, the kind couple had a son, Paizley, six weeks after Zaven's birth in December.
The pair welcomed Zaven into their large family. Two years later, they officially adopted the two siblings, giving them a chance at a new life. John admitted meeting his new family changed his life for good. He shared:
"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 I like, and have the ability to pursue what I like. And my parents. They care."
About half a decade after his life-changing encounter with the Thompsons, John remains glad to finally be part of a family of love.
He has since proven himself as a good lad with excellent academic prowess. Jody never shies away from gushing about his son and how proud he was of him for being a straight-A student on the honor roll.
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