BEE COUNTY, Texas — Look out, everyone, there is a new deputy in town!
Sarah Simons was inducted as a Bee County Sheriff's Office junior deputy Saturday by sheriff Alden Southmayd and Gov. Greg Abbott.
Sarah, who turned 8 years old on March 12, has been battling health issues and hospitalizations for breathing issues since birth.
"We are humbled and extremely appreciative of this opportunity for Sarah after such a rough few months, and starting treatment last Friday," said Sarah's mom, Aimee.
Sarah's condition has no cure.
She also contracted COVID-19, coded, and spent 12 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. According to Sarah's mom, the shock from that event caused Sarah kidney damage, and left her with severe lung complications. She now receives monthly immunotherapy and oxygen therapy at Texas Children's Hospital's cancer center.
Her immunodeficiency causes her immune system to not fight infections properly. She has previously been treated for autoimmune vasculitis and currently sees an oncologist for lymphoproliferative disease. Sarah has three more rounds of that treatment left.
"She sees a specialist in Missouri and has a team at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston," Aimee said. "After leaving her oncologist appointment in February, the nurse asked (Sarah) what she wanted for her upcoming birthday. She told her she wanted 100 police patches," Aimee said.
Sarah's dream is to be a law enforcement officer like her dad, who is a deputy in Victoria County and has worked in law enforcement for 19 years. A post on social media helped Sarah achieve her goal, as it exploded with shares and people willing to help.
"Sarah has received patches from all over the world. From the U.S. to the U.K., Iceland, the Netherlands, the Yukon, and Hong Kong. They come from individual agencies or collectors sending mini collections with upwards of a hundred different patches," said Aimee.
Sarah has over 2,500 patches now from an estimated 300 agencies, Aimee said.
On March 5, Sarah was also sworn in as an honorary officer with her dad's agency — the Victoria County Sheriffs' Office — Victoria Police Department, Freeport Police Department, Richwood Police Department, and the Texas Rangers.
On Saturday, she added to her accolades.
"The entire staff of Bee County SO, the Jr. Deputies, Governor Abbott, and his staff, and everyone within the Beeville community were so kind and welcoming," Aimee said. "To not just Sarah, but our entire family."
Both Sarah's grandfathers worked in law enforcement as well, so serving the community is in Sarah's blood.
"Sarah has wanted to be a police officer since she could talk," Aimee said. "When most kids dream for the future change, Sarah's has never waivered. She wants to be a cop to help people and keep them safe."