Boy With Half a Heart Warms Hearts for Christmas

Arlington boy with a heart defect proves he has a heart of gold by donating dozens of gifts instead of keeping them

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An Arlington boy is setting an example for us all this Christmas: Giving without expecting anything in return.

Elliott Wyche, 4, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome in April 2015, months before his birth on Aug. 12.

“He essentially is walking around, running around, with only half of a heart,” his mother Ashley Wyche said.

He's undergone three open heart surgeries: the first at 4 days old, the second at 6 months and the third at 3 years old.

Thousands of people follow his journey on his Facebook page, Tin Man Tough.

This year, his parents said his supporters wanted to give him gifts for Christmas. They accepted, but decided not to keep them. Wyche wanted to donate them to Arlington’s Santa Cop program instead.

On Monday, Wyche donated dozens of gifts but received an unexpected surprise when members of the Arlington Police Department and SWAT team showed up at his home.

“My heart is going to be beeping tonight and I don't know what to do," Elliott Wyche said.

Wyche went inside a SWAT truck, tried on SWAT gear and then played, and played, with a robot.

“He’s going through so much, but he's giving back to show that not only are we heroes for some kids, but he's my hero!” Arlington officer Carla Strauser said.

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