Six-year-old Madison Pruitt lost her battle with cancer over the weekend, her family confirmed Monday morning, just days after the Chicago Police Department helped fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.
The city's sixth district planned to welcome Madison to the police department last Wednesday before the young girl, who had a rare muscular cancer and was under home hospice care, wasn't feeling well enough to attend the celebration.
"Her spirits are well, but she’s doing pretty poorly at this point," said Sgt. Ernest Bradley, of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, or CAPS, the department's community policing program last week
That’s when they decided to bring the surprise to her. Roughly 70 police officers showed up on her doorstep, some even on patrol horses.
"I never imagined that it would be this much," said social worker Lindsay Wooster with Journey Care Hospice. "It’s pretty incredible."
No one imagined that Interim Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson would also be there to grant her wish, presenting her with an Award of Valor.
"It’s just amazing the courage she’s showing today," Johnson said. "That gives us pause to think about our own mortality and families. That’s the reason we do what we do."
When asked why Pruitt wanted to be a police officer, her response was simple.
"Because you get to protect people," she said.
It’s a day her grandmother, Pamlor Nelson, said she will never forget.