This Man Went To A Five-Year-Old’s Funeral As Spider-Man, And The Family Broke Down In Tears

Funerals are never easy. However, when a family is grieving the loss of a child, saying goodbye is somehow even harder. So when one man arrived to a five-year-old’s funeral dressed as Spider-Man, the family couldn’t hide their emotion.

Joshua Garcia lived in Fort Worth, Texas, with his family. His mom, dad and five older brothers all cherished him. The five-year-old had lit up their world with his lively persona and happy demeanor. However, sadly, he was not to be in their lives for long.

Tragedy struck the Garcia family in April 2016. Garcia’s mother had been looking after the young boy when he went missing. She called the cops, and officer Damon Cole from the Fort Worth Police Department set off to the scene to help look for the child.

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When Cole arrived, he found Garcia’s mom frantically searching a neighbor’s backyard pool. But it was incredibly hard for her to see since the water was black and filled with detritus. It was so dirty that anything below the surface of the water would be impossible to spot.

As a result, Cole jumped into the pool with her to help her look. He was conducting a thorough sweep of the bottom of the pool when he swam into something. The object turned out to be Garcia’s unconscious little body.

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The cop wasted no time pulling the little boy to the surface. After retrieving Garcia from the water, Cole assisted medical technicians in performing CPR. However, after almost an hour of its desperate attempts to resuscitate him, the team was unable to save his life.

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Emergency crews took little Garcia to a local hospital where staff pronounced him dead. The loss left everyone who knew him devastated. But in their obituary for Garcia, his family thanked Cole and his colleagues for their noble efforts in trying to save their beloved baby.

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Cole was immensely grateful for the family’s tribute. However, he wished that he could have done more. “It’s hard, because I really wanted to save that boy,” the distraught cop later told USA TODAY’S Humankind show in April 2016, as he tried to fight back tears.

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In a Facebook post, Cole added that the Garcia incident was “the most heartbreaking [call] of [his] 16 year career as a police officer.” He also told a Dallas television station that, “There’s not a minute that has gone by that I haven’t thought about Joshua and his family.”

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“This call really got into my head and I have had trouble sleeping since this happened,” Cole added on Facebook. “I had to go to the emergency room that day because I had swallowed some of that nasty water in the pool. They put me on antibiotics and I was sick for a few days. I am much better now thanks to the good support system that I have and because of my brothers and sisters at FWPD.”

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To honor the little boy and his family, Cole decided to attend Garcia’s funeral. However, rather than donning a suit as a sign of respect, the cop had a better way of paying tribute to the late five-year-old. So he pulled on his Spider-Man suit and stood guarding the casket for the ceremony.

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The unique tribute brought tears to Garcia’s loved ones eyes. The little boy had always loved superheroes and had a particular soft spot for Spider-Man. In fact, the day he died he was wearing a Spider-Man T-shirt and Spider-Man shoes.

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And it transpired that Cole was a fan of Spider-Man too. He regularly dressed up as various superheroes to visit children suffering from cancer as part of his group, Heroes, Cops and Kids. Once, Cole drove 11 hours across the country dressed as Superman, just to put a smile on a sick kid’s face.

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After the tragic accident, Garcia’s dad and brothers wanted to contact Cole. So, they went to meet him and talk about what had happened. And when they learned about the cop dressing up as a superhero to help young kids, they asked if he would dress as Spider-Man for Garcia’s funeral.

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Cole agreed, and the day before the service he went with Garcia’s family to view the body. Little did he know that they had a surprise in store. While they were all at the funeral home, the family presented Cole with a plaque reading, “Damon Cole, Fort Worth Police Hero.”

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“This honestly had to be the biggest honor I have ever had in my 16 years as a police officer,” Cole said. “I was so touched that the family did this for me. I had the family sign the plaque for me and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”

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The family’s gesture moved Cole so much that he decided to do something kind in return. He went out and bought Garcia a little Spider-Man costume so he could be buried with it. “Joshua loved Spider-Man and he really believed that he was Spider-Man,” the cop explained.

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The whole experience has brought Cole and Garcia’s family together. “I have an eight-year-old daughter of my own, and I just couldn’t imagine something like this,” Cole told TODAY in 2016. “I heard all these stories about how Joshua was just happy and full of life, and this just made it more personal. They call me a part of their family now, and they are definitely a part of mine, too.”

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But while he often dresses as one, Cole denies he’s a hero. “This is the first time I’ve been directly affected like this in 16 years as a police officer,” he said. “I don’t view myself as a hero. I just wished I had superpowers to save that boy.”

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Despite Cole’s modesty, most people would probably consider him a hero of the highest class. His noble attempts to save little Garcia’s life serve as a reminder that superheroes are all around us. However, they’re not always wearing capes.

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