LOUISVILLE, KY -- Asia Ford refused to give up on finishing the Rodes City Run Saturday morning, but says she couldn't have crossed the finish line without assistance from an unlikely source.
"The EMS guys got out and talked to her, went to check on her, and she was like 'I'm not stopping, I'm not stopping, I'm not stopping' -- so she kept going," Lt. Aubrey Gregory of the Louisville Metro Police told WAVE-TV. "I said 'I'm not going to let her stop. We're going to do this together.' I got out. She grabbed my hand. I grabbed her hand."
Once weighing nearly 500 pounds, Ford says the 10K was the latest step in a weight loss journey that has so far helped her shed more than 200 pounds.
However, even with improved fitness, Ford said the strain she experienced toward the end of the race was nearly too much to overcome.
"My breath was kind of like, it felt like it was taken from me," she said.
She says Gregory helped her get it back.
"I knew that that was my angel at the time because at Mile Five was where I was going to give up," Ford said. "I could've stopped. That could've been the end of my race, but you didn't allow it."
Gregory said watching Ford finish the race "was a great moment.
"Watching her go across that line, raising her hands, I felt that all over," Gregory said."
Ford's son Terrence says he appreciates Gregory's act of kindness as much as his mother.
"With all the stuff that's going on now with the police, it's nice to know that there's good people out there," Terrance Ford said.
A photo of the final moment of Ford's inspirational police escort went viral over the weekend.
Despite the attention, Gregory said he was just doing his job.
"That is what being a police officer is about -- service to others, helping," he said.