LORAIN, Ohio - A Lorain police officer received a public commendation for going above and beyond the call of duty: caring for a sick child and his family.
Patrolman Jesse Perkins was honored by Councilman Angel Arroyo and the boy's family at Monday night's council meeting.
“If it wasn’t for Officer Perkins or Angel I don’t know what we would’ve done,” said Isabelle Velez, whose 10-year-old “nephew” Josue Massas recently passed away after years spent battling Neuroblastoma.
Officer Perkins met the family when Josue was hospitalized this past January and experiencing extreme pain.
“It’s so sad,” said Perkins, a father himself. “It touched me pretty deeply.”
Officer Perkins returned to the hospital with toys for Josue and formed an unbreakable bond that continued. He and his fellow officers, including Cleveland CPD Cpt. Keith Sulzer, provided a police escort home for Josue when medical options ran out.
Knowing that Josue’s time was limited, Perkins, the FOP and Councilman Angel Arroyo began a fundraising campaign to pay for his funeral and burial expenses.
And they were there Feb. 15th when Josue passed away.
“My aunt to this day refers to Officer Perkins and Angel as her angels,” said Isabelle. “If it wasn’t for them I don’t know what we would’ve done.”
Leftover funds raised are being donated to St. Jude’s Hospital and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Josue’s name.