Denham Springs family thanks Bossier deputy for kindness during flood clean up

Published: Aug. 30, 2016 at 6:36 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 2:43 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - It was something so small, but meant so much to a Denham Springs family who lost everything in the flood.

"I hate to say seems small, it was small. It was just one little stuffed animal, that was it," said Bossier Parish Deputy Ryan Rhodes.

Bossier Parish Sheriff's deputies have been in Baton Rouge for several weeks now, helping patrol and support the sheriff's offices there. One deputy made a big impact for one Denham Springs family.

Aubree Wise's happiness is infectious. The 6-year-old and her family lost almost everything in the floods in Baton Rouge.

"It's been a devastation. It's been a devastation for all of us," said Brandy Wise, Aubree's mother.

Drywall ripped off the walls and three feet of water got into their home. It is not an unusual sight in South Louisiana right now.

Deputy Rhodes drove up and down the streets of Livingston Parish for 5 days. He saw that everywhere he went. But this past weekend, a little girl outside playing caught his eye.

"Drove by once, noticed her, didn't think much about it. Got down the street and remembered I had a little stuffed animal left over in the back of my car. I said, 'well I'm not going to need it, she lost everything, she'd appreciate it more than I would.' So I just turned around went back and brought it to somebody who could use it," said Rhodes.

That is when a picture of Aubree hugging Rhodes happened.

"She looked at me and she said 'rar' in my face," said Rhodes.

"I want him to know, and I want all of you guys in North Louisiana to know, just that one little gesture meant a lot to us," said Brandy Wise.

Aubree went through open heart surgery on May 25, barely three months before the flood. She has been through a lot more than most 6-year-olds in the last few months, but it has not gotten her down.

"This little bitty stuffed animal has been her best friend the past few days, she's sleeping with it," explained Brandy Wise.

One little gesture, that meant the world to one family.

"That little bitty stuffed dinosaur, I'll probably keep it for the rest of her life," said Brandy Wise.

"I believe quality people, yields quality results," said Bossier Parish Sheriff, Julian Whittington.

Brandy Wise added that she wanted everyone in Bossier Parish to be very proud and thankful of their deputies, and that having them down in Livingston Parish has made everyone feel safer, despite the destruction and devastation.

Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office has five officers down in South Louisiana who arrived Monday.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard also sent an email of thanks to Sheriff Whittington, commending the deputies that were sent down to help.

The email was accompanied by a Facebook message the department received from one of their citizens, Billy Vance.

The message from Vance reads:

"THANK YOU, thank you, to you Jason for being such a wonderful leader to our country, our community, to the men and women that work under you and to our families. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. In our time of need, other parishes and states have sent in officers to help and the ones I got to meet were kind and compassionate, just like our officers are. But one stood out above and beyond, just patrolling our neighborhood from Bossier. Lt. R. Barnes, this man took time out to talk to me and my family daily. He prayed for us and he even asked if we needed any help with anything. This man gave me his personal cell number so if I needed anything, I can call him. He touched me and my family's heart and we are so glad to have met him. So thank you for letting these other officers come in and help out where needed. This is what makes our community whole again."

The email from Sheriff Ard also stated, "Lt. Barnes has been representing Bossier well. He has shown much compassion to our communities in a time when they don't know which way to turn."

Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.