Kid offers injured former JSO officer a friendship note

LOVELAND - Abby Holbrook is a girl of few words - not quite fitting with the redhead reputation. But Abby's deeds speak for themselves.

"She wanted to give him a gift," mom Carrie Holbrook said. "That was her idea. But I said 'Maybe we should get him a letter to go with his gift?'"

Abby wanted to give a gift to a stranger. Loveland Officer Garrett Osilka. She heard about him from her mom. Osilka had been shot during a traffic stop early March and was in the hospital.

RELATED: Former Jacksonville officer shot during traffic stop

A hospital is a place Abby goes to a lot. She's had four brain surgeries and says gifts at the hospital always make her feel better.

"She has what's called Transverse Myelitis," Holbrook said. "It's really close to MS. It's an autoimmune disease. When she first got sick, she was actually paralyzed from the neck down. She worked really hard over the years to gain back walking. She's in a wheelchair part time cause her legs give out, and they hurt."

Abby's also had a couple of bladder surgeries. Another one is scheduled for next week.

So after so many hospital stays, Abby knew sending Osilka something would make him feel better. She sent a letter and a St. Christopher medal to keep him safe.

Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker is a family friend. Holbrook asked him to take the gifts to Osilka. She said Hecker also told Osilka more about Abby and her health situation. Osilka asked if he could come over for a visit, and he did.

"It was very, very sweet," Holbrook said.

She believes it's a beginning of a life-long friendship, one that started with just a few words from her shy 8-year-old.

"It was a super, special letter obviously," Osilka told 9NEWS. "That's why I wanted to come see you afterwards."

Here is what the letter said.

"Dear Officer Osilka, I know how it feels to hurt really bad. I'm in the hospital, and Chief Hecker is my friend, so that makes you my friend. I hope you feel better soon. I got this medal because St. Christopher will help protect you from bad guys. Love, Abby."

Osilka's received a lot of well wishes since the shooting, but there was just something extra special about Abby's.

"I kind of picked my profession," he said. "It's not a choice that she made. In my mind, she's tougher than I am."

Abby may be a girl of few words, but the few she chooses to share are just enough to make difference.

"It was the right thing at that right time that's for sure," Osilka said.

Osikla is off work for while healing from his injuries. He said he'll be back to work for Loveland Police when the doctors clear him.


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