An elderly woman in Oklahoma City was given a much-needed boost on the eve of her birthday by two police officers who went out of their way to brighten her day.
Carol Richardson, 75, told KOKH-TV that she had wanted to treat herself to a birthday cake last Saturday. There was no one around to drive her so she decided to go to Wal-Mart by herself on her motorized wheelchair.
The septuagenarian has trouble walking because of bad knees.
Richardson’s wheelchair stalled on the way to the store, which is located more than a mile from where she lives. According to TODAY.com, it was almost 100 degrees outside at the time and Richardson didn’t have a cellphone.
A person driving by spotted Richardson and called 911, requesting help. The caller said the woman was crying into her lap.
Oklahoma City police officer Travis Vernier soon arrived at the scene to lend a hand.
"She looked up at me and said, 'Officer, I'm having a really bad day. I could use a hug,'" Vernier told TODAY.com of the encounter. "I said, 'Sure,' so I gave her a hug, and I asked her what was going on."
Vernier’s partner, Amy Hanson, soon joined the duo, and the officers decided to fulfill Richardson’s birthday wish. They loaded up her wheelchair and drove her to Wal-Mart, where they bought her a cake (cheesecake — her favorite) and some candles.
According to the Oklahoma City Police Department, Vernier and Hanson then drove Richardson home “to celebrate.”
“They were very courteous and very polite,” Richardson told News 9 of her newfound friends.
The Oklahoma City Police Department shared the story of the officers’ good deed on Facebook last Sunday. The post has since gone viral, racking up more than 27,000 likes.
According to reports, many people have since volunteered help to Richardson, including one person who offered to donate a motorized wheelchair. Richardson, who has been living in a motel while waiting for placement in an assisted-living home, says she’s been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
"I'm a little embarrassed by all this, at the same time I'm rather happy that people want to encourage me and help me in life. I appreciate it," she told TODAY.com.
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