3-year-old boy with cancer named sheriff's deputy

Three-year-old Wyatt Schmaltz, an Indiana boy with stage 4 cancer, was named a sheriff's deputy Wednesday.

Story highlights

  • Wyatt is being treated for stage 4 cancer
  • The ceremony was meant to honor his courage
  • The sheriff's deputy status is an official designation, not an honorary title
He has the trademark brown uniform and the badge of a newly minted sheriff's deputy.
And he has his first order -- actually, his only order: get better.
Wyatt Schmaltz is the new sheriff in town and he's only 3.
On Wednesday, an Indiana sheriff and a state trooper visited Wyatt and bestowed him with the powers.
It meant the world to Wyatt, who is being treated for stage 4 neuroblastoma at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
The cancer attacks nerve tissue and is most common in young children.
The boy has gone through months of treatment, he faces surgery for a tumor in his abdomen, and a stem cell transplant.
But amid it all, he's kept his joyful spirit. The Wednesday ceremony in his hospital room was meant to honor that.
Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel said Wyatt's sheriff status is an official designation, not an honorary title.
"We have given Wyatt all the powers of a real sheriff deputy, which are to carry out the orders of the sheriff," he said. "Right now, his only orders are to get better."
Dr. Michele Saysana, a doctor at the hospital, said there were few dry eyes at the ceremony.
"Gestures like this really aid the healing process for our patients," she said.
And what were Wyatt's first words after he was sworn in?"
"What else do you have?"