A terminally ill boy was all smiles after receiving a big surprise from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
In a post to PCSO’s Facebook page Thursday, deputies said 9-year-old Eric Piburn loves police cars, so they brought “the biggest police car [they] have” to his house, and let him pose for pictures alongside, and even on top of it!
Their post went on to mention that Eric’s story has touched their hearts as he fights to get a new one of his own, and a lung transplant, too.
For Eric, his health problems began before he was even born, when he was diagnosed with a heart defect called Tetrology of Fallot.
His mother, Randi, says the first doctor told them to terminate the pregnancy, but they refused.
Nine years later and Eric and his family are still fighting strong. They say Eric has nearly passed away 10 or more times, and has been through four heart surgeries.
It’s the fifth one they’re now waiting on- a heart transplant, and a lung transplant, too –but last year, doctors said they feared Eric’s body would reject the organs. They wouldn’t put him on the list.
Still, the Piburns are continuing their battle.
They’ve launched a GoFundMe page to help with his current medical costs-- $10,000 out of pocket in annual co-pays, according to the page --and to hopefully prepare them for a transplant, should doctors decide to add him to that list.
In the meantime, it’s kindness from people like the Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies, and Eric’s natural positive attitude, that are brightening up his days.
"He's spunky and no matter what life throws at him, he just keeps going," his mom said last year. "He's here to teach us all a lesson that no matter what is thrown at you, you can overcome it. He doesn't love it, but it's his life and so he makes the best out of it…”