When Kori Malenfant and her parents missed their train home to Maine by only five minutes, they were facing a two-hour wait in the cold. So, when a cop picked the trio up at the station, they were happy for the shelter. But then the police officer chose to just keep on driving.
Kori lives in northern Maine with her mom Wendi and her dad Kevin. And in January 2018 the family traveled south to New York City, some 300 miles away. The reason for their trip was very important indeed, though.
That’s because Kori had made her way to the city at the beginning of the year in order to undergo brain surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The procedure was to correct the then-18-year-old’s Chiari malformation; the defect occurs when part of the brain grows into the spinal canal through a gap in the skull.
Furthermore, the condition had left Kori battling a number of issues. These included anxiety, depression, nausea, headaches and dizziness. The young woman was also seeing flickering lights and heard an unceasing ringing.
Given all of these many symptoms, the Malenfants were likely delighted when Kori’s surgery went to plan. Almost immediately after the procedure, in fact, Kori felt relief from some of her ailments. And just a few days later, she was well enough to return home.
Since Kori was still recovering from her operation, though, her parents went to New York to escort her home. Wendi and Kevin therefore drove to Portland train station in Maine before making the rest of their journey to New York by rail.
On their return journey, however, the Malenfants’ train from New York to Boston was delayed due to bad weather. As a result, the family arrived in Boston later than had been expected. And that event had an unfortunate knock-on effect, since the trio turned up five minutes after the departure of their connecting train to Maine.
But while the Malenfants were able to swap their tickets for the next service to Maine, there wasn’t another train heading in that direction for over two hours. As a result, the family were looking at a long, cold wait at the station.
So, growing concerned about their daughter, the Malenfants decided that waiting was not an option. The station was freezing, and there was no suitable seating to support Kori’s neck. Consequently, Wendi spoke to some police officers to see if there was a place to store their luggage so that she and her loved ones could go and wait somewhere warmer.
Eager to help, the cops contacted their supervisor for some advice. Soon after, Boston Police captain Kelley McCormick arrived on the scene and directed the family to come with him. He led them to an unmarked police car and told them to hop inside.
According to Wendi, who spoke to The Boston Globe later in January 2018, McCormick had said, “Okay, guys, follow me – we’re going to take a little ride.” And, naturally, the Malenfants were a little confused about the situation. However, they reasoned that the cop was probably just going to drive them around for a while to ensure that they weren’t too cold.
“We just started following him,” Wendi continued to The Boston Globe. “We weren’t really sure what we were doing.” But when McCormick turned onto the highway and started heading north, the family became more confused.
It was at that point that Wendi decided to ask the police captain where he was taking them. “Mom asked where we were going, and he laughed and said he was kidnapping us and that it was perfectly legal,” Kori told CBS Boston in January 2018.
However, as McCormick continued to drive, the family realized that they were in fact heading home. So they asked the cop if he was taking them back to Portland. “He said, ‘Of course I’m taking you to Portland,’” Wendi recalled. “‘Your daughter’s not going to sit in that cold train station being four days post-surgery.’”
And Wendi was floored by McCormick’s kindness. “I was just so blown away by the goodness of this man,” she went on to tell The Boston Globe. However, the police officer himself remained modest about his actions.
McCormick had been inspired to reach out to the family after having experiencing major surgery himself. In fact, he had previously given a kidney to his wife. As a result, he knew just how laborious recovering from a serious procedure could be.
Speaking to Boston 25 News in January 2018, McCormick explained, “Being in that moment is so exhausting. If you just make a small difference, it must have had a great effect on them, which is great, but we like to do that every day. Every officer wants to do that every day.”
Then, after McCormick delivered the Malenfants back to their car, Kori posted about the cop’s good deed on Facebook. It didn’t take long for the family’s story to go viral, either. What’s more, it soon turned out that the drive back to Maine hadn’t been the first time that McCormick had gone above and beyond.
Indeed, Boston Police’s superintendent-in-chief, William Gross, told The Boston Globe, “That’s not a one-time thing with Captain McCormick. He’s always giving. He’s a very free-spirited and giving individual.”
And Kori was more than happy to shine a light on the good work that McCormick and his colleagues do on a daily basis. Now she wants others to share the story, she told CBS Boston, “to remind us all of the amazing men and women who make daily sacrifices to ensure our protection.”