6-Year-Old Massachusetts Boy in Need of Heart Transplant Becomes Honorary Police Officer
“He has been fighting for this life since he was born. For the past year, he’s been enjoying visits from the police and is confident he will one day wear the uniform,” his mother Angelie Montalbano said.
A six-year-old Massachusetts boy in need of a heart transplant was sworn in as an honorary police officer with the New Bedford Police Department in a special ceremony on Thursday.
JJ Montalban was born with a rare heart condition and has been waiting for a heart for more than a year, his mother Angelie Montalban wrote in a post on GoFundMe. Angelie said that when she was pregnant he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition.
“He had his first operation when he was seven days old. There were no family photos. No videos. No one could hold baby JJ until just before his first surgery. JJ remained in the hospital for the first eleven months of his life, during which he had four operations and teetered on the verge of death many times,” Angelie wrote on the GoFundMe page. She said doctors told her that her son would need a heart transplant.
“He has been fighting for this life since he was born. For the past year, he’s been enjoying visits from the police and is confident he will one day wear the uniform,” his mother said.
New Bedford police officers Shane Harris and Gene Fortes knew that little JJ wants to become a police officer, so they helped make that dream come true. JJ stood near a podium wearing a police uniform and was all smiles as he raised his right hand and repeated the words Police Chief Paul Oliveira said during the ceremony held at the New Bedford police headquarters.
“Congratulations you are now an honorary member,” Oliveira said shaking the new recruits' hand and then giving him a high-five.
Harris pinned the NBPD badge above Montalban’s name on his uniform as the boy stood quietly.
“Congratulations,” Harris said as applause broke out.
“The city council gives us all of our equipment. The city council also put their money give you equipment. So come take a look,” Officer Alexander Polson said.
An officer placed JJ in the driver’s seat miniature car, and JJ began honking the horn.
“Looking good,” said one of the officers.
“Out of the way. Out of the way,” said another.
“We are so happy to welcome JJ into our home here. We are praying for you JJ, and we love you!, the New Bedford Police Department said in a Facebook post.
As of Friday, over $11,000 had been raised toward the GoFundMe goal of $20,000.
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