Traffic stop turns into moment of prayer between officer, cancer patient
Trooper Jaret Doty realized he had something in common with the driver and her passenger
By Suzie Ziegler
DURHAM, N.C. — Ashlye Wilkerson still thinks about the moment she was pulled over for speeding, but not for the reason you might think. Instead of a ticket, she and her father received a prayer.
The encounter happened in March as Wilkerson was driving her father back from a chemotherapy appointment for his stage 4 colon cancer, ABC 11 reported. Trooper Jaret Doty asked if Wilkerson knew she was speeding, but the tone of the traffic stop quickly changed.
Wilkerson’s father, Anthony Geddis, spoke up.
"He was still a little weak because he had a treatment that day. He cleared his voice and said, 'This is my baby girl, she's driving me back home from treatment. I had chemo,’” Wilkerson told ABC 11. Geddis told Doty about his colon cancer.
It turned out that Geddis and Doty had something in common. Doty had once been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis that required surgery to remove parts of his colon, according to a CNN interview. Doty’s doctors had told him that he likely would have gotten colon cancer had his condition gone untreated.
Doty told CNN he knew he wasn’t going to give Wilkerson a ticket. Instead, Doty asked: "Can I pray for you?"
"Of course," said Geddis, a deacon at his church. "I absolutely believe in prayer."
The two men prayed together, and Wilkerson took a photo to remember the poignant moment.
"I just want you to know that you have someone else praying for you on your journey," Doty said.
The trooper let them off with a warning.
Geddis died two months later. Wilkerson shared a tribute to her father on LinkedIn and thanked Doty for his kindness.
"Heartfelt thanks to this officer who prayed for and with you that day," she wrote.