Boy,12, with half a heart, named Amity Township 'mayor'

'He has the strength of a thousand men'

AMITY TWP., Pa. - There's a new mayor in Amity Township. In fact, a 12-year-old boy who's in the fight of his life, is the township's first-ever mayor. As family and friends hope for a miracle, the community came together Wednesday to lift his spirit ahead of the holiday.

Some call him the Tin-man, others call him mayor, but his name is Mavrik Laxton. He has only half a heart, but it beats stronger than most.

"He has the strength of a thousand men, and it's amazing. His drive," said Amity Township police Chief Andrew Kensey.

It's that strength and loving family that's kept him alive, despite constant hospital stays.

C.J. Santangelo, a family friend and organizer with the nonprofit A-Team, recalled a conversation with Laxton while visiting him in the hospital. 

"Talking to him, he said, 'I'm OK if I don't live long,' and I said, 'You don't have to think that way,' and he said, 'I wouldn't trade places with anybody.'"

Doctors just released Laxton from the hospital. It's a gift, because family feared he'd never leave again, but somehow, he always gets up and keeps going.

"He's a real fighter, and from what I've seen, he's a lover," said Santangelo.

To honor a kid who just won't give up, the community packed the streets, and with a procession led by bikers, fire engines and police, a big group cruised through the streets to the township's municipal building.

There, Laxton became Amity Township's honorary mayor. It didn't take long to organize his campaign, and he won in a landslide. Constituents packed the building to congratulate him.

As mayor, he'd like to start a baseball team and get a Porsche or Mercedes, but for his first act, he wants to head somewhere special.

Laxton's mother, Kim Kahn, asked him, "So Mr. Mayor, what do we do now?" He replied "Eat lunch!"

Since birth, Laxton has come up against illnesses that threatened to cripple him and take his life, and while doctors question how much longer he has left his family doesn't think about that. Time after time, they've seen miracles happen, and the kid they call Tin-Man doesn't need more heart. He has enough to go around.

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