Like so many families that have a good word for the police in our country, Brenda Hollis of Wood County is grateful to a law enforcement officer for helping her say her last ‘goodbye’ to her dying father.
The East Texas woman’s father was in a hospital and she rushed after she got a call from there, “My father had had a stroke, and I just ran out the door, got in the car and took off, and I wasn’t thinking,” she said.
Her 72-year-old dad, Travis Gilbert had suffered a massive stroke and his life was in danger, while on her way, Brenda needed fuel, and had forgotten her debit card, and gas stations had closed.
She spotted Hawkins Officer Eric Tuma, “I just pulled up to him, told him my situation, he just said follow me I’ll get you gas,” Hollis says. “I was moved by that. I didn’t want her to miss out on her father so I had her follow me to the gas station and get some gas,” Tuma says.
“Eric skipped over the protocol for his own safety, and that’s what it is, got her gas to make it to the hospital,” says Hawkins Police Chief Manfred Gilow. Hollis just arrived on time at the hospital, “I told him I loved him , and he meant the world to me,” she said. Minutes later her father died.
Hollis did not forget about what the officer had done for her and commended Officer Tuma. “The officer gave me something. Nothing else could have given me that,” Hollis says. “I could not be more proud to have Eric as an officer in this department,” said Gilow.
“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life,” Tuma said. A grateful Brenda thanked the officer for the opportunity to say her last ‘goodbye’ to her dad, “I’m very grateful to him,” says Brenda. She will hold funeral services for her father on January 16.
We should never expect anything in return in order to be kind just like Officer Tuma. With kindness, the giver benefits just as much, if not more, than the receiver.