9-year-old with life-threatening illness gets BSO tour

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A young boy with a life-threatening illness visited iconic South Florida landmarks and met law enforcement during a much-needed vacation, this week.

Nine-year-old Noah Sweeney visited the Everglades to look for gators, went to Fort Lauderdale Beach, where he adopted a dolphin, and then traveled to Miami to swim with dolphins at Miami Seaquarium.

The Sweeney family is visiting from Ohio and was granted a week of wishes on their vacation itinerary, all thanks to the Kids Wish Network.

Noah said he didn’t even know about everything they had in store for him. “Thought it was just gonna be a vacation, but not like anything like being on the news,” he said.

The boy has 20 diagnoses, including a blood disorder and colonic dysmotility, which doesn’t allow for normal muscle function.

Despite everything he’s going through, Noah and his loved ones have a lot of hope for the future. “He definitely wants to be a law enforcement officer,” said victim’s mother, Susan Sweeney. “I believe that will happen. He’s got the determination.”

Broward Sheriff’s Office made his dream come true on Friday by offering him a position as a junior deputy. BSO Sgt. Michael Rosenthal planned for it the whole day.

“We reached out to our aviation unit, the K-9, our SWAT team, our marine unit, and everybody pitched in and showed the family a good time,” Rosenthal said.

Noah was shown the controls of how the chopper works. “He listened to everything the pilot said. He rode in the SWAT vehicle; we all did,” Susan said.

“Noah’s a big supporter of law enforcement, and we wanted to show him that we’re a big supporter of Noah,” Rosenthal said.

The 9-year-old’s father, Jay Sweeney, expressed how much this effort means to him. “It’s priceless. It really is,” he said. “The big part of his life, he really enjoys law enforcement, so it’s a priceless day.”

The family said they’re so grateful, especially because they said they know what lies ahead. “This whole week has been phenomenal,” Jay said. “It’s nice to get away from everything and to have him put everything beside him and not worry about going to the doctor or hospitals.”

Noah said he is just hoping to feel better. “That all my medical stuff will get better,” he said.

Susan is hoping for something bigger. “We can all hope for a miracle,” she said.

The Sweeney family will fly back to Ohio on Saturday, and Noah will then be back in the hospital on Monday, but the family said the vacation was very much needed.

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