Former patient and officer develop special friendship
DAYTON, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) - A chance encounter has turned into a special friendship and never ending adventure between a former patient at Dayton Children's Hospital and a security officer.
A few years back, then 3-year-old Elijah Sebastian was being treated at Dayton Children's Hospital, and his mom says he became very excited because he saw an officer inside the hospital. Elijah loves police officers and immediately wanted to introduce himself.
"He ran up to him and he was so excited to see Officer Minnifield," Elijah's mom Sandra Sebastian said. "Officer Minnifield just took to him right away. Just immediately they hit it off."
Sebastian says Elijah didn't just want to say hello, he wanted a picture too. Officer Minnifield enthusiastically said yes and that's not all.
"He pulls out this black velvet pouch out of his pocket and it's a special forces badge and he pins Elijah right then and there," Sebastian said.
The two new friends then went separate ways.
"I never expected it to be what it has turned into ever," Sebastian said. "I mean it was just another encounter. We were perfect strangers when we met."
But that random encounter soon turned into another special moment. For his 4th birthday, Elijah wanted to have a police officer themed party. His mom went searching for an officer who'd be willing to surprise Elijah at his party. As fate would have it, a friend recommended Minnifield; the same officer they'd met a while back at the hospital.
That is until Elijah's 4th birthday. A police themed party. His mom reached out to officer Minnefield to see if he'd be interested in being a surprise guest.
"I said absolutely!" Minnfield said. "I was as excited as he was, probably more."
In cell phone you can see the joy on Elijah's face as Officer Minnifield shows up to surprise him in full uniform and gives him a big hug.
"Not only was he excited to come, he made it just a wonderful moment that nobody will ever forget," Sebastian said.
"I got him a badge and a name tag made with his name on it," Minnifield said. " I did up a certificate for him and then I did the actual swearing in ceremony. Anytime I'm not having the best kind of day I watch that video of the birthday party often because it puts me in a completely better mood. It meant the world."
Fate stepped in again a short time later and Elijah's mom got a job at Dayton Children's Hospital. Now the best friends see each other more often. Officer Minnifield hopes their friendship serves as an example to other children.
"We want them if they're scared or in need to run to us and I think that was a wonderful opportunity to be able to be that vision for them," Minnifield said. "To know that I can make a difference in someone's life day by day. Anytime they see me it puts a smile on their face, it puts a smile on my face It's really uplifting. "