Florida deputies dance to ‘Thriller’ for boy with terminal illness

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Spencer Holt has always wanted to be a member of law enforcement, using his badge to battle the bad guys – specifically zombies.  At 7 years old, you’d think he would have a lifetime to fulfill that wish. But, this little boy doesn’t have forever to make his dreams come true.

Spencer was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Mitochondrial disease. Called the invisible killer, it is incurable and affects the body’s cells. But, if you took one look at this child’s face, you’d see he’s filled with joy, especially when he found out his dream was about to come true.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office changed this child’s life. They arranged an unforgettable day in New Port Richey for Spencer and his family, a day where the young patient would be without pain, without suffering, free of IVs and hospital stays.

On this day, there would be no talk of terminal illness. For just a brief moment, Spencer was no longer a child who is dying. Instead, he was a boy watching his dreams come true. This was the day he would become Deputy Spencer Holt.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco gave Spencer undivided attention as the 7-year-old entered the building Tuesday afternoon in a wheelchair, beaming after his police escort from school. “You’ve got to have courage in the tough times and good times,” Nocco said. Then, all of a sudden, a sergeant in full camouflage bolted through the door and called out to Spencer for help. “Zombies overran the jail today. We can’t hold them back! We need help,” he said.

The job to protect and serve began right away for Deputy Holt.  The sheriff quickly deputized his youngest recruit. “This is an important day. We need you to be brave, Spencer,” Nocco said. Then, flanked by the SWAT team, Spencer was off to fight the walking dead, armed with a plastic NERF “zombie” gun.  Drama students from local high schools in Pasco played the zombies and waited for Spencer, who beamed as he walked through the halls of an old jail on his crime-fighting mission.

Then came one of the best surprises ever. Dancing deputies entertained their newest co-worker with a dance routine to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” a moment the sheriff will never forget.  He told News Channel 8 smiling, “I’m sure we’ll see this for a long time to come. They came up with that on their own. As much as this meant to him, I think it meant a lot more to us.”

Spencer’s mother, Cher, said. She was by her son’s side, beaming with pride. She saw how happy Spencer was. “It’s nice because he spends a lot of his time in hospital, so for him to do something different and special and have fun, it’s nice,” she added.

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