Police officer Chase Miller heard a call come through his radio and immediately headed to the scene, despite the fact that he hadn’t been personally dispatched. When he arrived, he did what he had to do: he took an endangered boy out of the arms of his mother.
Miller worked for the police department in Granbury, Texas, where 21-year-old Bethany Hoover lived, too. Not only did Hoover serve as the general manager of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken, but she was also mom to a three-year-old named Brayden.
Hoover worked at KFC alongside John Geis, her husband and Brayden’s father. On October 12, 2016, Hoover called Geis in to man the evening shift. She told him to take Brayden with him, and the boy’s grandmother would come gather her grandson to babysit him.
At the start, it seemed as though everything was going to go as planned – Brayden played in the restaurant as he awaited his grandmother’s arrival. But all of a sudden, the three-year-old began to cry.
Hoover’s son had a cold, so, when his tears started to fall, she gave him ibuprofen. But then she realized just how high his fever had spiked – he was so hot that she took him outside of the restaurant.
Little did she know her son’s condition was about to worsen dramatically. Hoover recalled that Brayden’s head was lowered as if he were resting it on himself, just before she noticed his arm also appearing lifeless. She told ABC News, “His fever spiked too quickly. I leaned him forward and he was having a seizure.”
Brayden’s father described the three-year-old’s state to NBC 5. “His eyes were rolling further and further in the back of his head, and it was just something you never want to see your son do,” Geis said.
Amid the panic, Geis dialed 911. “My son is – we’re at KFC. My son’s not breathing,” he said in an audio recording of the call. Officer Miller then heard the request for help on his radio and made his way over, because he was already nearby. His dash camera caught what unfolded next.
As soon as he got there, Miller approached Hoover, who was understandably emotional and clinging onto her young son. The police officer took the boy out of her hands, laid him on the ground and began CPR.
Miller heeded the call on his radio, even though he hadn’t been dispatched to the scene – and it was good that he did. He arrived earlier than an ambulance, and he was able to take steps to “just try to get him breathing,” Miller told NBC 5.
After the police officer got started on CPR, he had Brayden’s dad take over the chest compressions while Miller retrieved a breathing mask to help the situation even more. Within two minutes, his and Geis’s efforts had paid off.
Hoover recalled, “[Brayden] was crying, and it was just relief immediately.” The dash cam footage showed just how calm and collected the officer remained throughout the ordeal. He explained, “Everything else that’s going on around you doesn’t matter at that point.”
The Granbury Volunteer Fire Department took their turn to treat Brayden before bringing him to Granbury Medical Center. At that time, police said he was “doing fine and is recovering with his family,” according to ABC News.
In fact, by the next day, Brayden was showing no signs of the previous day’s traumatic events, although he was still running a fever. And, to Hoover, that was all that mattered. “Our son is the world to us,” she said. “That’s our world. That’s our life.”
That’s why Hoover, Geis and their three-year-old attended a Granbury City Council meeting on October 11, 2016. They and the local government wanted to honor Miller’s heroic efforts in saving Brayden.
The local police force lauded Miller, saying, “[His] exceptional performance reflects great credit upon himself, the Granbury Police Department and the city of Granbury.” But for Miller, the most important accolade was standing in front of him.
“It feels good to know [Brayden’s] all right,” Miller told NBC 5 after giving the three-year-old a hug. “I’m very thankful.” He also presented the boy he saved with a few surprises, including a stuffed animal of a police dog from the TV show Paw Patrol.
Brayden’s dad promised that his son would always “know who saved his life.” He stayed true to his word, as he, Hoover and their three-year-old son went to check in with Miller at the police department just a few days after he received his award.
In fact, Hoover and Geis planned to keep in touch with Miller and his wife for years to come. Their bond would likely be made all the more special when the police officer welcomed his first child – his wife was pregnant when he received the award in 2016.
And, after living through the scary ordeal with her own son, Hoover only had one piece of advice for the parents-to-be. She reportedly advised Miller and his wife to “never let go” of their little one.