Officer's leg amputated after Hurricane Matthew cleanup injury

Cut on officer's leg becomes infected, forces amputation

By Vic Micolucci - I-TEAM reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville police officer had to have his leg amputated after a cut he suffered during Hurricane Matthew cleanup became infected, according to the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police.

Officer Dennis Godfrey suffered what he thought was a minor cut to his leg, but it quickly showed signs of infection, said FOP Sgt. Shannon Hartley.

"The wound itself, over the normal course of care, became severely infected. His health deteriorated rapidly and put him in the hospital," Hartley said. 

Godfrey is a veteran of nearly 20 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Despite efforts to heal the wound, Godfrey was hospitalized and his condition quickly became life-threatening, the FOP said.

The decision was soon made to remove the infected leg in order to save his life.

Godfrey's health has since improved somewhat, but he is not out of the woods yet and will likely be fighting the effects of the infection for the rest of his life, Hartley said. 

"You're talking about a significant change in lifestyle. There's probably going to have to be alterations to his residence and how he lives," Hartley said. 

FOP Jacksonville Lodge 5-30 created a GoFundMe page to raise $50,000 for Godfrey's family.

“We believe that $50,000 is only the tip of the iceberg and a modest sum to help meet his immediate needs,” the FOP wrote on the site. “Please contribute to help our brother in need as he continues to fight for his life and to be properly compensated for going above and beyond to help his community in its time of need.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the FOP had already raised more than $12,000. While it won't solve all Godfrey's problems, his friends said they hope it will mean one less thing for Godfrey and his family to worry about. 

"The way that the community tends to come together when one of our members or brothers are in need is extraordinary. We are certainly hoping for that support here," Hartley said. 

Cards and messages of support for Godfrey can also be sent to the FOP Jacksonville Lodge 5-30 at 5530 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32207.

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