January 18, 2016 1:34:56 pm
What if one day you received a text response from a loved from beyond the grave? That was almost the experience of Carole Adler, who lost her son Taylor Thyfault — a Colorado State Patrol cadet — on duty in May 2015.
Thyfault was assisting at an accident scene when he received communication about an oncoming high-speed police chase. He acted quickly and set out to place the stop sticks. But the car being chased didn’t slow down. The car struck Thyfault, but not before he helped a truck driver get to safety before the car came barrelling through. ‘Save a life’ was ninth on his bucket list.
“He died a hero. He saved (the tow truck driver’s) life so he could go home to his little ones,” says Adler in hindsight. Her first, despaired reaction was to scream, “No not him, not him”.
Adler kept texting Thyfault on his number even after his death to cope with the grief; she was the last person he’d texted before taking his last breath. One day, she received a response.
Sergeant Kell Hulsey — from the nearby Greeley Police department — who was now in possession of Thyfault’s old number, decided to text back a reply to one of the yearning messages. “I’m with the Greeley Police Department, and I don’t think your texts are going where you think they are,” he replied.
After her reply he realised he was corresponding with a hero’s mother. “Then it was like the breath got sucked out of me, because the reply was about Taylor and about the accident.”
Adler told him not to change his number — after all he was doing what Taylor wanted to do. Hulsey relented. He says, “He never got to experience all of the great things that come with this job,” Hulsey says. “I have gotten to do that and I think it’s good for me to remember all the wonderful things he was looking forward to… It’s like I always have a little angel in my pocket now.”
After having corresponded over text messages, Adler and Hulsey now hope to meet up soon. Meanwhile, Adler works to keep her son’s heroism alive by passing out bracelets in his memory.
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