New Bedford 5-year-old in need of new heart

New Bedford Police help spread awareness for a future member of the force

NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WLNE)- 5 year old JJ Montalban from New Bedford needs your help getting a new heart.

The 5 year old was born with Congenital Heart Disease.

His mom Angeli Cardona says hi case was so severe, his first 10 months of life were spent in a hospital.

“When he was first born, they put a breathing tube in him right away. We couldn’t even take a family picture because right away he was taken to the ICU. I was only 18 years old it was hard,” Cardona said.

6 open heart surgeries later, JJ lives his life as any 5 year old would.

“He’s a happy kid, he loves to go to church, he plays baseball he does everything a 5 year old boy would do,” Cardona said.

But, his condition, isn’t stopping him from pursuing his dream.

JJ wants to be a police officer in New Bedford when he grows up.

Once they heard JJ’s story, The New Bedford Police Department helped spread awareness for a future member of the force.

“We met JJ and his family and we fell in love with JJ and the whole thing has been amazing,” New Bedford Police Ofc. Shane Harris said.

Officers Harris and Fortes were two of many who attended Team JJ’s silent auction and spaghetti dinner at The Washington Club in New Bedford Saturday night.

The fundraiser was an effort to help JJ get to and from his appointments at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“It’s been an uphill battle with his family, on any moments notice and it becomes a burden for them. So hopefully we can do well enough so we can help get them a better means of transportation,” New Bedford Police Officer Gene Fortes said.

You can donate on JJ’s GoFundMe page  or call


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