NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - Twelve-year-old Brave wants to be a police officer. Thanks to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, he has already lived his dream.
It's a day that wouldn't have been possible two years ago, when he was adopted from an orphanage in China.
"In China, he was terminal. They said there was nothing they could do for his heart, so the first 10 years, he lived in an orphanage with no care whatsoever for his severe heart defect," said his mother Stephanie Wetherington.
The Wetheringtons adopted him knowing the heart defect may cut his life short. In a couple of weeks, surgeons will operate on his heart. His mother says without the procedure, Brave will die.
So the sheriff's office gave him a day he and his family can cherish as they prepare for what they say is a risky operation.
Sheriff Chris Nocco presented him with a miniature badge and Brave was sworn in as an honorary officer. Soon after, he took to the skies with his new friends in a helicopter.
Once he was back on the ground, Brave met his new K9 friend, Knox. And then, he checked out the SWAT rescue vehicle.
"This little boy, he epitomizes what life is really about, and that's enjoying every moment to the fullest,” said Sheriff Nocco.
"Was this the best day of your life?" Wetherington asked her young son.
"Yes!" he exclaimed.
"It's going to give him joy and hope to fight harder,” said Wetherington.”Fight harder in the surgery he has coming up."
Brave is his name, but brave is also what he is.