As Christmas approaches, we ask that you keep the men and women in law enforcement who serve our community in your thoughts and prayers. While preparing for joyous holiday celebrations with your friend and family, it’s important to stop and reflect on the joy and blessings in your own life, while also recalling those who are not as fortunate. We invite you to join with us in supporting four local law enforcement families who have each had a very difficult year. Between them, these Cobb County law enforcement officers, all with children ranging in age from 3 to 14 years, have endured life-threatening illnesses, medical procedures, multiple heart surgeries, cancer treatments and more. They have experienced time away from work, loss of income, and enormous medical bills, all while struggling to support their families.
Here, you can read about each officer and a little about the medical hardships they have endured this year.
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PO Box 5238 Marietta, GA 30061.
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Officer JT Shy
Officer JT Shy has been with Cobb PD, at precinct 4 in east Cobb for two years. In 2014, prior to joining CCPD, officer Shy was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and was placed on medications to clear the 3 arteries discovered to have clots. In June of this year, after becoming seriously ill, with multiple symptoms, he was taken to the ER after his fever reached a dangerous level. Initially, tests were run to check him for Covid-19. When the results came back negative, doctors ordered further testing to determine the cause of the high spike in fever to 105.4 degrees. An EKG revealed that officer Shy had a leaking heart valve, and it was also discovered that he had a staph infection that had developed into endocarditis. The leaking valve requiring open-heart surgery to repair the damage to his aortic valve. How he contracted the bacterial infection that caused this very serious illness remains unknown. Officer Shy was out of work for several months during the time he was sick in the hospital and later, recovering from surgery. He and his wife Monica have two sons, ages 6 and 7.
Officer Daniel Hicks
Officer Daniel Hicks has been with Cobb County Police for 5 years and is stationed at precinct 5.
In February of 2019, a regular doctor visit to monitor his diabetes revealed that officer Hicks was suffering from kidney disease and that his kidney function was rapidly declining. Complications during a surgical biopsy resulted in hospitalization and once home, ongoing issues. Officer Hicks was informed that without a kidney transplant, he would be dependent on dialysis. He was placed on a waiting list with Georgetown University's transplant program and since then has been receiving dialysis, three days a week, now in stage 4 of the disease. During transplant testing, it was discovered that he had fluid around his heart and he underwent surgery, and was then advised another, more "in depth" surgery, was needed. The next day he checked into the hospital (alone, due to Covid-19 restrictions). Officer Hicks stated, "I remember saying 'I love you' to my wife and son and then getting put to sleep." After surgery, he awoke to learn that during the surgery his heart had stopped, and he had become unresponsive. Doctors performed CPR on him for a full minute to bring him back to life. He had no family with him and felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness and fear. Officer Hicks has since completed the testing required for transplant and has been on the kidney list since March. He is still doing dialysis three times a week and waiting on “the call” to tell him a donor kidney is available. He and his wife Brittany have been together 11 years and have a three year old son, Daniel, Jr.
Deputy Shane Flowers
Deputy Shane Flowers is a member of the Cobb County Sheriff's Office. In February of this year, Deputy Flowers went to the ER with kidney stones and discovered that he also had a coronary blockage. In April, it was determined that he had suffered three heart attacks. As a result, he required surgery to clear three blockages and insert a stint. He was scheduled to have another procedure, but due to the Covid pandemic, the procedure had to be cancelled. After two more heart attacks, he was admitted to the hospital and five additional stints were implanted. In September, Deputy Flowers, who has diabetes, developed cellulitis from foot injuries and a suspected case of osteomyelitis. Fortunately, an MRI revealed that he did not have the latter, and his condition could be treated with surgery. Since then, he has been in surgery once again to insert addition stints, for a total of ten.
Deputy Flowers has been out of work since the beginning of October and is not sure when he will able to return to duty. He has exhausted all of his sick and vacation time and is now without an income. When deputies with the Sheriff's Office inquired if they could donate vacation and sick leave time to help their fellow officer, they were informed by the county that this is not allowed, except in the case of a "catastrophic event." Due to the loss of income, Shane could no longer afford the payments on his home and was forced to sell it. He and his his sons, ages 13 and 14, are now living with his sister in Villa Rica. This is not his first bout with adversity, having lost his wife, the mother of his children, unexpectedly in 2012.
Cobb County PD Precinct 1 Detective (wishes to retain his privacy)
In 2019, this detective began to experience tingling along the extremities of the left side of his body. Attributing this to an increased caffeine intake from working nights and taking care of a newborn, he cut back on caffeine and delayed getting checked. When he began to suffer from headaches, he assumed it was the result of cutting back on caffeine. By the end of February 2019, the tingling was accompanied by sensitivity to light and a metallic taste in his mouth. On February 22, 2019, he went to the ER where a CT scan revealed a mass of significant size causing a midline shift of brain tissue. Further examination revealed the tingling, light sensitivity, and metallic taste were due to seizures caused by the tumor. He underwent surgery in March 2019, during which the tumor was resected and biopsied. Laboratory examination of the tumor tissue identified the brain tumor as Anaplastic Astrocytoma, a grade 3 (stage 3) central nervous system cancer that develops into Glioblastoma. After a month of recuperation, he began a six-week regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. Once the six weeks were completed, he began maintenance cycles of an increased chemotherapy dosage to start a month later. Chemotherapy treatments were done for five days on, then 23 days off, for twelve cycles. During the treatment, MRIs were taken every two months and consistently showed improved results for healthy tissue healing and reduced FLAIR/Enhancement from tumor tissue. Cancer treatment was completed in June 2020. Bi-monthly MRIs with follow-up appointments are scheduled for the foreseeable future as this detective enter the observation phase.
As with the other law enforcement officers who have suffered hardships due to loss of time at work and enormous medical expenses, this detective is now dealing with the ongoing expenses related to his condition and is faced with the task of recovering mentally, physically and financially. He and his wife have a son, nearing the age of three.