ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Missouri -- A St. Louis County police officer, was recently diagnosed with cancer and underwent a serious surgery two weeks ago, left the hospital and was joined by his colleges to escort his autistic son to the first day of school Monday morning.
Officer Andy Mattaline had only seen 5-year-old Carmine twice since the surgery and wasn't going to miss the boy's first day of kindergarten, according to KMOV-TV.
"This is one of my biggest days and I just didn't want to miss this," Mattaline told the news station. "He means the world to me. We've been through a lot together."
Doctors at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital saw the importance of this milestone and allowed Mattaline to leave the hospital. In his wheelchair, the officer arrived to his neighborhood and was greeted by a squad of fellow officers in uniform who volunteered to be there when they thought the father wouldn't be able to make it.
"It's an overwhelming amount support that I just can't process right now," Mattaline said. "I just love the support ... I can't thank anybody enough."
Surrounded at least a dozen officers, Carmine made it to school on time.
Mattaline has a little more time to recover before he can be home with his children for good.