"You can call me Mary."

My name is Joel Parney and I am a Police Officer in the state of Missouri. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary who is just 5 years old, unfortunately it was because she had just lost her father. Her spirit was infectious as she explained the rules of hide and seek to myself and the Emergency Room staff and then demonstrated all the places she could hide because she was smaller than us. I'm starting this because this little girl will go her 5th Christmas without her dad, and at 5 she will know pain that no 5 year old should have to. All donations will go to Mary and her mother to help during this most difficult time.

On 12/09/2015 Officers responded as they often do, to a non-breather medical call, once on scene they began CPR and assisted paramedics all the way to the Emergency Room. As the outcome appears to be grim the doctor asks the officer, will you help get his wife here. The officer arrives at the house and sees her waiting outside, as the hospital had called and told her he would be coming. As he approaches his heart sinks as their five year old daughter runs out from behind her. She introduces herself first, middle, and last name, then says, “but that's my long name, you can call me Mary, that's my short name.” The ride to the hospital is less than a mile but feels like forever as the officer and Mary make small talk. “I'm just 5, how old are you?” Officer replies “oh I'm a little older than 5.” “like 16?” she asks, “no, more like 32”, she laughs and informs the officer how old he is, they both agree he is super old as they continue small talk about what police officers do. The officer escorts Mary and her mother inside the emergency room for the inevitable heartbreaking news. The doctor calls Mary's mother in to deliver the news, the officer turns his attention to Mary to give her mother a moment to herself. They find a quiet room with some emergency room staff, and attempt to keep Mary occupied and smiling. Mary explains the rules of hide and seek and demonstrates all of the places she could hide because she's smaller than they are. Mary asks questions about there various jobs, and explains how she is normally very shy, but she likes them. Mary smiles and laughs with no idea that everyone in the room had just given everything they had to try and save her dad unsuccessfully, no in that moment she is happy and laughing. As her mother comes to collect her for the short ride to there vehicle that the father had, Mary asks the officer, “will you hold my hand”. She pulls him towards the Christmas tree inspecting the decorative presents, and as soon as she realizes they are hollow one becomes a “Christmas present hat” she lifts the decoration and asks “promise you won't forget me” “oh sweetheart I could never forget you” the officer replies “and if I'm in trouble, do you promise to come protect me from the bad guys” “of course Mary.” “good, when I'm big I want to be just like you” They hold hands as they walk out of the Emergency Room, as she continues to discuss her plans for being “police” or “fire police” or “doctor police” so she can be with us all the time.

I have started a Go Fund Me page for Mary and her Mother, they will be going through this already difficult time of year, without him and I would appreciate any help we can provide to make this time easier.

Thank You



  • Christian DeLozier
    • $20 
    • 8 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Joel Parney
Clinton, MO
Linda Phillips

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