Fallen Deputy’s Body Escorted to Tampa Organ Bank

By Chris Jasurek

A Florida deputy who was killed in the line of duty is still living on, even though he expired from his wounds.

On the night of Monday, May 7, Highlands County Deputy William Gentry responded to a complaint that an elderly man in Lake Placid, Florida had shot a neighbor’s dog.

Deputy Gentry knocked on the door. Joseph Edward Ables, 69, opened the door and allegedly opened fire, shooting the deputy several times in the head.

Deputy Gentry was severely wounded. He was rushed to Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers, but despite everything doctors could do, Gentry expired on May 8.

Gentry was an organ donor—he had pledged to offer his remains to whoever might benefit.

Doctors at Lee Memorial harvested some of his organs immediately. His remains were loaded up and, at 2 a.m. on May 9, transported in a motorcade of police and fire officials to the LifeLink organ and tissue bank in Tampa, Florida.

(Google Maps screenshot)
(Google Maps screenshot)

The motorcade was composed of law enforcement, emergency responders, and firemen—all the people who put themselves in harm’s way and deal with the aftermath of the violence inflict on one another.

Lt. Gregory Bueno of the Florida Highway patrol tweeted, “Florida Highway Patrol Troopers along with multiple law enforcement (and) emergency responder agencies were honored to escort fallen Highlands County Deputy William Gentry & family from Lee Memorial Hospital…Praying for his family and loved ones. RIP.”

His fellow officers escorted his body not to a funeral home, but to the LifeLink organ and tissue bank in Tampa, Florida.

LifeLink was able to remove and preserve much of his tissue, including skin, ligaments, and corneas.

“He was able to save multiple lives thru the generosity of organ donation,” said LifeLink spokesperson Betsy Edwards told Fox News.

“He will improve upwards of 70 individuals thru the gifts of tissue donation including the gift of sight to two individuals thru donation of his cornea.”

 

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