Spooner Police Officers Spend Quality Time with Special Boy

Spooner Police Officers Spend Quality Time with Special Boy

SPOONER - Spooner Police Captain Steve Pank, along with Spooner Officer Trevor Peterson and his partner K9 Bleu, spent some quality time with a special young boy, named Thatcher.

Thatcher is 3-years old and has Hirschsprung's Disease. The disease is a condition that affects the large intestine and sometimes the small intestine.

Thatcher’s mother, Sarah Andrea, told DrydenWire.com that Thatcher had an ileostomy until September 1st when “he had a pull through (hooked his intestine backup). He has no large intestine anymore". Since being discharged from the hospital he has been readmitted twice with complications from the disease.

Sarah said that this has been a struggle for young Thatcher.  

“He is such a happy, goofy kid when he is healthy. It's been hard for both my husband, Scott, and I to see him like this, too.”

Enter Spooner Police Captain, Steve Pank.

Sarah said that they were visiting the Red Cross Pharmacy this week to get Thatcher’s prescriptions when Thatcher became excited when he saw the Spooner Police truck and Captain Pank. 

“Officer Pank was helping a community member and Thatcher kept yelling ‘Hi’, Sarah said. “When Officer Pank was finished, I told him my son wanted to say hi. He came right over, visited with Thatcher, and thanked us for getting his attention.”

Sarah also said that she felt Captain Pank was “just as happy as all of us to come say hi and make my son's day.”


“Earlier in the day, I had a call that involved a child which was a difficult situation. I was not in what you would call 'a great mood’,” Captain Pank explained. 

Thatcher made an impression on the Captain and the very next day he messaged Sarah and said that he had something special for Thatcher if they were able to stop by the police station. He also arranged for a special visitor after coordinating with K9 Officer Trevor Peterson. 

Officer Peterson, K9 Bleu, and Thatcher

Sarah took to her Facebook page afterward:

Yesterday Thatcher saw Officer Pank and wanted to say Hi. Officer Pank took time out of his day to visit with Thatcher. Today, I received a message from Officer Pank that he had something special for Thatcher. Not only did he have a bag of goodies for Thatcher, but he set up a meet and greet with Bleu and his partner AND wrote a letter to Thatcher! We have such a wonderful and caring police force. Thank you for all you do!

“This was such an amazing act of kindness,” Sarah said when we asked how it made her feel. 

Thatcher "driving" a police cruiser

Thatcher’s favorite part of the day? “Driving the car,” Sarah said. “He is still talking about it!  At the office, he didn't really look at his bag of goodies, but since we got home, he has been playing with his badge and pictures of Bleu.”

Sarah said that Thatcher also keeps saying that he wants to “play with the police officers more!” 

But that might have to wait.

Thatcher is still recovering and this next year will be his toughest. He has to have a catheter as after the surgery he cannot urinate on his own. Sarah is hoping that this is short lived but “it makes everything more complicated.” He is also more susceptible to dehydration and intestinal infections and if he continues to struggle, he will need another ileostomy. 

But Captain Pank said you wouldn’t know any of this if you met him.  

“With everything Thatcher and his family has been going through, so much ‘bad’ in life, it just really struck me how happy he was.  He deserves all the credit.”

So what was in the letter that was included in the ‘bag of goodies’?  Captain Pank wouldn’t say.  But he did paraphrase one part for us:

“I hope this makes you feel a little better because you were the bright spot in my day.”

Thatcher and Captain Pank

Yep, here comes the feels.

Last Update: Sep 23, 2017 8:04 am CDT

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