A South Florida police officer needs a new heart, and his department is asking you for help.
North Miami Beach Officer Jerry Hamilton, 48, is in critical condition and needs a heart transplant.
He was recently moved to a hospital in Tampa. His only son, Brandon, 23, is leaving for the Air Force later this month.
Hamilton doesn’t have any other biological family members.
But he does have brothers and sisters in blue.
“We want to surround him with love and support,” said police Maj. Richard Rand, who has known Hamilton for over 20 years.
“He’s the kindest person you will ever meet and goes out of his way to help. ... He always has a smile on his face. His smile will change the room,” Rand said. “He’s a great guy.”
Brandon and his mother are asking for prayers. They’re also asking for privacy and declined to speak further about the need.
Volunteers have been traveling at their own expense to be with him, Rand said, but they’re hoping to have someone with him until his procedure is completed and he can return home. The time frame for that, he said, is still unknown.
A GoFundMe page was created on July 30 to help the staff with lodging, food and gas expenses. They’re hoping to raise $30,000 to help staff do rotating shifts to watch and care for Hamilton, who has been on the force for over 23 years. Any leftover money would help cover medical expenses not covered by Hamilton’s medical insurance.
As of Wednesday morning, the department has raised $13,846.
This isn’t the first time North Miami Beach police have created a GoFundMe page for one of their officers in need, Rand said, and are hoping the community will help — whether it’s by donating or praying.
“Officers aren’t superheroes,” Rand said. “They need help sometimes too.”