Butler Co. deputy becomes shaved head hero

Butler Co. deputy becomes shaved head hero

BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - "It was so scary. It was so very scary. To see the panicked look on her face," said Donna Zitnak.

On Monday night, Candice Zitnak was helping her dad install brakes on a car in his garage.

But then the unthinkable happened.

"He has a squirrel cage fan and she went to stand up and fell backwards and the fan air caught her hair and pulled it in and kind of wound it up," said Candice's mom, Donna.

Her dad jumped to action, turning off the fan and putting his hand inside to unwind the hair that had been wrapped around the blades, but the damage had already been done.

"It took off this part of her hair. It's gone," said Donna.

At first, they didn't think she was seriously hurt.

Turns out she needed six stitches to close a gash in her head.

"The nurse was cleaning her head and I noticed when she wiped the hair just started falling into the floor. And I kind of lost it. I started crying," Donna said.

Candice kept a brave face at the hospital, but when she saw what was left of her hair, Candice only had one question.

"The response when she looked in the mirror and saw that she didn't have any hair, just really got me. She pulled her hair around and she said, 'mommy, where's my Elsa hair?'"

Most little girls love princesses, and that's what Candice's parents adoringly call her.

Candice, whose love for the Disney movie "Frozen" can be seen all around her house, had a white knight to help her through.

"I knew she may be made fun of and I knew the fact that she looked up to me and the fact that I'm considered an authority member in the community, I felt that maybe she would be able to absorb some of that a little bit better when she knew she had a friend that also was bald with her."

Butler County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Huddleston has gotten to know Candice and her family through church.

When he heard what happened, he got the clippers and made a change.

Shaving his head in support of this princess.

"Although it's not much in the grand scheme of things it meant a lot to her," said Travis. "It was the least I could do to make her feel included."

His act of kindness has been making the rounds on Facebook.

"This job has a lot of rough spots. I mean you see a lot of rough things. and a lot of things that you can't talk about. But this is really kind of a good feeling thing that kind of took social media by storm," Travis said.

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