Police Help Family that has Suffered Dual Tragedies Deliver 900 Toys to Boston Children’s Hospital
Chief Frederick Ryan with 9-year-old Patrick Murphy after making him an honorary Arlington Police officer Thursday, Dec. 21. (Arlington Police)
ARLINGTON — When 9-year-old Patrick Murphy’s father died last month he knew he wanted to keep his dad’s passion alive. The family’s annual toy drive would now not only be in memory of Patrick’s sister Katy, but also for his beloved father Michael.
Three years ago, Katy Murphy died at age six after a brave battle with a congenital heart condition. The family started the Katy M. Murphy Foundation and began an annual toy drive to collect gifts for sick kids at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Michael Murphy ran the toy drive and it was one of the prides of his life, but he died in November after complications during a surgical procedure.
In the face of losing his sister and now his father in such a short period of time, Patrick could have given up on many things, including the toy drive. But, he remembered the visits to the hospital to see his sister. He also remembered how proud it made his father to give back to the place that had helped their family so much. He couldn’t think of not being able to put smiles on the kids’ faces this year.
When members of the Arlington Police Department heard about the Murphy family’s tragic losses and Patrick’s bravery, officers, led by Sgt. Robert Pedrini and his wife Elizabeth, decided that they would do anything they could to help.
“This young man’s selflessness and tender heart is something we should all strive for, not only during the holidays, but any time we’re faced with a tough situation in life,” said Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan. “Not many people would be able to think about others in the situation that his mother Amiee, 3-year-old sister Riley and himself are going through. But the Murphys are an amazing family with an amazing cause.”
The Arlington Police Department served as a drop-off location for the toy drive for the past several weeks and the family’s foundation collected over 900 toys.
On Thursday, Patrick and his family, who live in Amesbury, went to the police station where Chief Ryan made Patrick an honorary police officer and Chief for a Day.
Patrick’s first command as chief was to load up all of the donated toys into a transport van and have them delivered to Children’s Hospital. Members of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) motorcycle unit and Arlington Police officers escorted the toys from Arlington to Boston where they will be distributed to children receiving care this holiday season.
“I’m truly proud and honored to have been a small part of this great cause, and I was very pleased to see Patrick smiling with us today (Thursday),” Sgt. Pedrini said. “We are already looking forward to seeing how we can lend a hand next year.”
Members of the NEMLEC motorcycle unit and the Arlington Police Department escort 900 gifts from Arlington to Boston Children’s Hospital where the toys were given to sick children. (Arlington Police)
Patrick Murphy, 9, of Amesbury was made an honorary police officer of the Arlington Police Department on Thursday, Dec. 21. (Arlington Police)