When you look at this picture of a young woman caring for a frail, elderly man in the hospital, you might think that she was his doting granddaughter, there to say her last goodbyes to a beloved family member.
The truth is, she’s a cop and not actually related to him at all. But, the love and devotion that Lawrenceville Police Officer Dena Walker Pauly showed toward the man certainly makes her his granddaughter in all but name.
The Georgia cop first met Bob two years prior when staff at a local pawn shop called for help. Although it could be said that Officer Pauly was the one who came to his rescue, meeting this man changed her life forever, too.
“The truth is that this woman is a police officer and she met Bob only two years ago while she was on duty. Lawrenceville Police Officer Dena Walker Pauly’s life was changed forever when she was dispatched to a local pawn shop, where staff were unsure how to help him.”
Life was not kind to poor Bob, who didn’t have any family, and by all accounts had been on his own since he was a kid.
“He was homeless most of his life and a stroke eventually left him non-verbal. His life is a series of sad stories strung together by poverty and loneliness.”
When she arrived at the pawn shop, Officer Pauly wasn’t exactly sure how she could help Bob, so she offered to take him home. It was there that she realized just how destitute his living conditions actually were.
“She may have been dispatched that day by police radio, but we have no doubt she was really sent by God.”
She immediately went to work teaching Bob basic life skills, like how to throw the garbage in the trash can instead of on the floor. Officer Pauly made sure the man had food to eat, and she routinely came by to help clean his tiny apartment.
After Bob suffered a stroke, she sought and received a Power of Attorney for his medical care
“Officer Pauly made the difficult decision to begin hospice care for Bob, so she held his hand and told him many times that she loved him. It’s quite possible she’s the first person to ever utter those words to this poor man.”
“This photo depicts the true nature of law enforcement officers. We are drawn to this profession because we care. We care so deeply that it hurts sometimes. We see the worst, but sometimes we also get to see the best. And we have opportunities to truly make a difference for people. Like Bob.”
The department went on to praise one of the finest officers, and humans, they’ve ever known.
“Officer Pauly, your dedication and commitment to your oath of office, and fellow man, embodies what it means to be a Police Officer. Stories like this happen every day, but because they don’t fit a certain narrative, no one hears about it.”
Sadly, Bob passed away soon after the touching photos were taken.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we have to report that Bob passed away earlier today. While the end of one’s life is always sad, it is the love and compassion that he received from Officer Pauly that gives us a smile knowing he is now in a much better place!”
Officer Pauly took a moment to respond to all the thoughtful comments and prayers that poured in from social media:
“Thank you all for the kind words during this difficult time. Thank you for praying for us. I spent a couple of hours with him today, singing and talking to him. He has started his journey Home and I am so excited for him!!! My friend is about to experience a happiness like never before.”
After Bob’s memorial service, Officer Pauly left the flowers on his favorite street corner.
“I had to pick up the flowers and other things from Bob’s memorial service. I thought, what better way to remember Bob than to leave a beautiful floral spread (sent by Tracy Evans Campbell) at Bob’s corner…. RIP my friend!!!!”
A local funeral home generously offered to take care of the funeral arrangements for Bob after the Gwinnet County Sherrif’s Office reached out to them.
Even though Bob may not have had any family for most of his living days, he most certainly found a caring heart in Officer Pauly, and the greater community at large.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.