NEW JERSEY (WYXF) - The South Jersey community of Oaklyn is mourning the sudden loss of a 13-year-old boy. Tyler Quinter lived a short life but made a huge impact.
The boy's death is hitting everyone hard even those he didn't know. From his family, his teachers and friends to the police officers who were his heroes. They all think of him as their hero.
"He just wanted peace. He wanted everyone to get along. He wanted things to go right for everybody he saw no bad in the world," his mom, Lori Quinter, said.
Tyler's message of compassion was strong for such a young boy. His parents Lori and Mark believe it came from his heart of gold. But it was actually his heart that caused problems from a very young age.
"He was in the hospital the first 8 months of his life knew nothing different," Lori explained.
At birth, he was diagnosed with a heart defect and underwent multiple surgeries. Since that time, he never let anything get him down.
"He knew he wasn't going to be Ryan Howard or Chase Utley. He was going to be Tyler Quinter. He was going to have a purpose and for 13 years he served a great purpose," his dad, Mark Quinter, explained.
For the next 13 years, Tyler became a staple in his Oaklyn community and school by spreading awareness for his many passions; Paw it 4ward and #bekind, and congenital heart disease.
"He was the little mayor is what I liked to call him because he loved to talk with everybody," said Tyler's teacher, Mary Ellen O'Donnell.
Tyler was also passionate about the police force. His mom shared this picture with our own Lucy Noland, Tyler saluting the American Flag in uniform. It stole people's hearts.
"Tyler was all about hope and the betterment of mankind, he was my little guardian angel,"Sergeant Jayne Jones, of the Oaklyn Police Department, said.
Sgt. Jayne Jones and the rest of the Oaklyn police force felt like they had lost a member when Tyler passed Monday morning. The police department set up a "YouCaring" fund to help the family with the overwhelming burden of medical and funeral bills.
"He adored each and everyone of them and I truly believe they adored him and the effort of our PD cannot go without mention," Mark said.
So the family can get back to spreading the message of compassion Tyler would want us all to hear.
"He has changed the world. He has made a difference and we couldn't be more proud of him," Lori said.
The family is still struggling to pay all of Tyler's funeral and medical bills. If you wish to donate, please click here.