HOUSTON- A brave teenager got a big honor Monday from none other than the brave men and women in blue.
Jaden Carlton, 17, became an honorary Harris County Sheriff’s deputy.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, “You've shown a lot of bravery and a courageous spirit. You've done it with grace and strength.”
Jaden has shown a different kind of courage under fire; he needs a new heart. Last year, Jaden spent a total of four months in the hospital.
Fighting back tears, Mother Michale Brooks said, “It was unreal. His heart was 3/4 size of a melon. I couldn't believe it.”
He can be a home now thanks to a heart pump which goes with him everywhere and a pacemaker, like his mom’s.
Michale is on her second one. She also has Cardiomyopathy.
The struggle isn't just with disease, it's also with getting a teen to manage all his meds.
Michale said, “Just saying ‘Jaden take your medicine,’ it hasn't worked. He's had three mini strokes and one major M2 stroke. That M2 stroke has caused brain damage and he's had the memory loss.”
The medical bills have been and will be enormous. Stepdad Lonnie Brooks has been with HCSO for 13 years. He is grateful for the department fundraisers & support.
Brooks said, “It’s a lot going on especially when you are the only one working.”
Jaden was upbeat, joking “I got a job.”
He is thrilled to be an honorary deputy, but Jaden added, “I won't be at work every day.”
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(© 2017 KHOU)