SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WJBK) - Sometimes smiles are hard to come by for 11-year-old Gabe and his mom.
Gabe has tuberous sclerosis complex, and has tumors in his brain and kidneys. The disorder triggers roughly a dozen seizures a day - something two Southgate officers witnessed firsthand Sunday when they were driving outside Walmart.
"I was walking back to my car when I saw Gabe and his mom," says Officer Nate Mosczynski.
"Gabe saw the cop car and he was super excited and it caused him to have a seizure," Gabe's mom, Rachael Fondren, says.
So the officers responded by taking time to let this 11-year-old's excitement grow. They took the time to talk with Gabe and let him check out the police car. The encounter could have ended there, but it didn't. The two officers decided to take Gabriel shopping.
"I walked over to him and I said, 'Nate, let's just take him inside real quick,'" says Sgt. David Grondin.
"They took him in and got him a toy and paid for it and everything," Rachael says. "It was just absolutely amazing."
It's a brief encounter that surely made a lasting impression on everyone involved.
"We go from call to call to call a day and deal with the worst of the worst," Mosczynski says. "To see how much this meant to Gabe and even to his mom, is really heartwarming."
Rachael says her son's new friendship has really helped him, too.
"It makes him really excited to do things. Most the time it's really hard to get him to go into places, meltdown behavior. So, this was really, really nice," she says. "Whenever he's going out and he gets to see his police officer friends, he's estatic."