ADRIAN, MI (Toledo News Now) - A young girl in Lenawee County had the opportunity of a lifetime on Monday.
Emily Orta was 'Mayor for the Day' in Adrian. She and Mayor Jim Berryman have something in common: They've both survived open heart surgery.
“It's very powerful, sitting in the [mayor's] chair,” said Orta. “It's a lot of responsibility, but it is a powerful feeling.”
The sophomore at Lenawee Christian School got right to work as mayor; she announced two new community programs.
That was exciting for Emily, but she was thrilled about a few other adventures on her one-of-a-kind day.
“The most I'm actually looking forward to is getting to meet the firefighters - that was great,” she said. “But I'm also going to go to the police station and meet the chief and then we're going to get to ride around in a police car.”
Last May, Emily collapsed at soccer practice and had to be transported to the University of Michigan hospital in an emergency helicopter. She was diagnosed with a rare heart defect and had to have open heart surgery in June.
Mayor Berryman also went through open heart surgery. Now he and Emily share a special bond.
“One of the perks of having the job as mayor, you can do these things,” said Berryman. “[Announcing a Mayor for the Day] is something that is not done very often - that's what makes it so special - but the circumstances are very special.”
Both Mayor Berryman and Emily are doing well, and Emily is hopeful to be back on the soccer field soon. She also ran Monday night's City Commission meeting in her role as mayor.
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