"Brothers in Blue" help their own | News
Police officers and firefighters, they're charged with the daily task of keeping us safe.
But suddenly, one Eastman officer, who worked for two different police stations to support his family, needed backup.
He found himself with a sick baby girl and mounting medical bills.
And a firefighter from a neighboring county reacted like a true first responder.
Tim and Ariel Smith say they were excited when the found out they were having a baby girl, but the happiness the Smiths shared welcoming their daughter Laydon into the world quickly turned to concern.
"I knew something just wasn't quite right at that time because they didn't immediately bring her over to see her," Tim said.
Right after she was born, Laydon was having trouble breathing because her esophagus wasn't fully developed. That required extensive medical treatment at Scottish Rite Pediatric Hospital in Atlanta.
"Insurance wise it was probably costing 30 to 40 thousand dollars a day," Tim said.
She stayed there for six weeks in neonatal intensive care before she was transferred to the Children's Hospital in Macon.
"She has some problems with her airways," said her doctor, pediatric intensivist Rogelio De La Cruz. "She needed a tracheotomy for about 6 months to a year."
Laydon's not even two month's old yet and Tim took a leave of absence from both his jobs as a police office in Eastman and Uvalda.
When he goes back to work Monday, he'll have to make an hour and a half drive to Macon to see his daughter.
"I was really awestruck. I really don't think children should be dealt that hand of cards when they're that small. I just knew instantly, my heart sank, because I knew I had to help," said Chris Rogers, a firefighter in Dodge County.
It's why Chris Rogers, a Dodge County firefighter, organized a 5K with the Eastman Police Department called the "Brothers in Blue".
"I have a four-year-old little girl and I don't know what I would do if she was in that position," Rogers said. "We're going to all rally together to make this a big deal for that baby, so when that baby gets well in years to come she's gonna say these are my people. Central Georgia is my people. They rallied when I couldn't help myself."
The Brothers in Blue 5K is the 29th at 8:45 a.m. At the Dodge County Middle School Track.
Register online by visiting Racerpal dot com and click on "brothers in Blue."
Registration is $25.
On-site registration and donations are accepted and all proceeds go towards medical costs and expenses.
Call Chris Rogers at (478) 231-2891 for questions or comments.