JONESVILLE, La. (KNOE) - The Chuck Norris Kid" Brandon Beard was welcomed home to Catahoula Parish after battling double pneumonia. Beard has down syndrome and is well known throughout Northeast Louisiana after he met Chuck Norris through the Make-A-Wish Foundation last year.
Brandon Beard was welcomed home Friday afternoon after battling double pneumonia for almost five months in the hospital. (KNOE)
Brandon spent almost five months at the Children's Hospital in New Orleans, and his mom, Tammye Beard, says there were times they didn't know if Brandon was going to make it. That's why she says it's nice having everyone come together for her son.
"It means everything because during our time in the hospital the community came together for us and they let us know how special our baby was he's always been special to us but the community has come together for us."
Friday, Brandon got a hero's welcome home. He and Catahoula Parish Sheriff Toney Edwards have a special bond. It's no secret that Brandon loves law enforcement, and his mom says he'll walk up to any officer or deputy and shake their hand when he can.
"To me, you're looking at a teenage miracle because it's just been so touch-and-go with him, you know, God answers prayers," says Edwards.
Edwards says it's always been Brandon's dream to ride in a patrol car, so on his first day back in town, they made that a reality.
"It's gonna be great, I've been telling him forever that I wanted to take him for a ride and so here it is," says Sheriff Edwards. "He gets to ride in a patrol car with the Sheriff and we're going to make a lot of noise going through town."
Harrisonburg Chief of Police, Lyndell Atkins says he's known Brandon for most of his life and says if you're in law enforcement, Brandon will befriend you.
"Brandon is a buddy, and I don't say that lightly he really truly is a buddy," says Atkins. "He comes to my office pretty regularly and he has an open door policy when he gets there."
Tammye says when Brandon got sick in January, the LaSalle Parish Sheriff's Office helped escort him to the hospital when he was starting to have respiratory issues.
"And then they went above and beyond and came in and sat with him in the hospital," says Beard. "And that's why I'm so glad that they're a part of this today."
Jordan Mayo is one of the deputies who sat with Brandon. He says he needed to make sure Brandon was okay before he left.
"You got to take care of people even if you don't know them but they're close to you, you gotta take care of people that's what we're here for," says Mayo.