January 21, 2016 Spokane, Washington. On January 3, 2016 Rayel Von Quade and her son Phaelen who is 5 years old were involved in a motor vehicle accident in the State of Idaho. The child was in the back seat of the car during the collision, injured and very frightened. Until Idaho Corporal Al Ashby arrived on the scene that is.The Corporal immediately prioritized the scene and went straight for the highest priority, the child in the back seat. Von Quade told KXLY “He opened the door, crouched down, started talking to him and immediately calmed him down.” That in itself is the sign of a professional, caring Law Enforcement Officer. But of course there is more.
A few days later a package arrived at the Von Quade residence for Phalen from the Idaho State Police. Inside it contained assorted items including “a coloring book crayons, pencils, a magnet, some cool little police motorcycle and car cards, his old police patch badge”. There was also a hand written letter from Corporal Ashby all addressed to Phalen who considers the Trooper his “best friend” now and is considering becoming a police officer himself now because of the interaction. “He gave me awesome stuff that I love,” Phaelan said.
Originally when the story came out media stations attempted to interview the Corporal about the incident but he really didn’t want any credit for the incident or any notoriety over it. “He was reluctant to come out in front of the cameras,” Sergeant Ron Sutton said. “He said, ‘That is not why I did this.’ He did this just like he asks of anyone, just to pay it forward.”
The Corporal did talk to his wife about the accident and his intentions to send Phaelen a small package. The reason he had such compassion about it was because they too have children and one is suffering a condition and is frightened much of the time as well. Ashby’s wife Jenn did talk with KXLY 4 News and explain that they had the discussion but that she was unaware that he had sent the package already. She also briefly went into the discussion of their own trouble with their child. This is how Von Quade became aware of Ashby’s problems.
Once Von Quade understood the problems that Ashby faced in his own life with his own child she revisited her Facebook account and made a new post about the accident and the interaction. She also made a plea for support for Ashby’s family. It reads as follows:
I know I made a status about this the other day, but I got a picture and typed out a more detailed story, and I want this to go viral!
Sunday, January 3rd, my 5 year old son and I were in a car accident, rear ended on the I90 freeway in Idaho near the Washington state line. It was, of course a terrifying experience for both of us, but being my son’s first accident ever, it was especially horrific. I called 911, and not 5 minutes later officer Al Ashby arrived on scene. He came to the car to check on us, and devoted the majority of his attention to my son, Phaelan. Who was still very afraid and crying. Officer Ashby talked to him to make sure he was ok, comforted him, and reassured him that he was safe now. I have always told Phaelan that police officers are around to help us and keep us safe, and I think that point was very well made by officer Ashby.
Then, a few days later, we had something pretty awesome happen. Phaelan got a package in the mail, his first mail ever, addressed to him from officer Al Ashby. He sent him a care package, including a coloring book and crayons, pencils, a magnet, some cool little police motorcycle and car cards, his old police patch badge, and a hand written letter saying that he hopes Phaelan is doing well recovering from his accident!
It was so sweet, I couldn’t believe it!
It is really amazing and heart warming to know that there are still people who genuinely care about others, especially enough to personally follow up with them! It made Phaelan’s, (and my) day!
With how much negative press and hate that has been directed toward police in general lately, I really feel that it is important to highlight stories like this, showing that there are good officers out there, who do their job because they genuinely care about our safety and well being.
I would love to see this go viral.
Thank you officer Al Ashby for turning a traumatizing incident for my son into something better, that he can remember for a positive reason.
This Officer’s son, Eli, age 3 ½, is battling pediatric congestive heart failure, an enlarged right atria, and a severely incompetent mitral valve. His mitral valve defect was caused by a structural malformation at birth, for which Eli required his first open heart surgery in the fall of 2014. A month after the surgery, he was hospitalized with an occurrence of atrial flutter which in turn caused his congestive heart failure. Heart failure is when the heart fails to meet the metabolic and circulatory demands of the body. Pulmonary/systemic congestion, fluid in his lungs, developed as a consequence of heart failure, resulting in Congestive Heart Failure. His mitral valve incompetence causes a large amount of blood to flow the wrong way though his little heart, which is what has caused the right atria to become extremely enlarged and put strain on the rest of his heart, valves and lungs. Another open heart surgery is slated for August 6, 2015, to attempt another repair, or worst case scenario replacement of, Eli’s mitral valve.
Eli also has a rare, unidentifiable blood platelet pooling disorder, which causes him to bleed easily for long periods of time. This is making surgeries more difficult and creating a need for platelet transfusions.
This is his gofundme surgery fundraiser page > https://www.gofundme.com/3b5ngb53b5n
This is his personal support and update page > https://www.facebook.com/Prayers-and-Love-for-Eli-Wish-and…/