Thomasville cop beats disease to wear the badge - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville cop beats disease to wear the badge

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

A Thomasville police officer is ready to hit the streets again after a serious illness took him off the beat for a while.

Matt Griffin was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2002 and dealing with the illness can be a struggle.

"I counted it up and in the last 18 months, I have spent about 85 days in the hospital," said Griffin.

He's never let it stop him from reaching for his goals. He got married, started a family, and became a police officer.

"I put myself through the police academy and I had to go through twice because the first time, 8 weeks into it, I passed out in a run, I had a fever of 104, found out that I had perforated my intestine, spent 3 weeks in the hospital and right after started the academy over again," said Griffin.

Against his doctor's wishes, he earned his right to wear a badge. Lt. Wade Glover says Griffin is exactly the type of person he wants on the force.

"It's 50% heart, 40% common sense, and 10% book knowledge if you don't have a good heart and compassion, you're not going to be a good police officer, and Matt has all of those traits," said Glover.

Despite undergoing multiple surgeries Matt is just ready to get back to serving and protecting his community. "This year I spent six weeks in the hospital, had my gall bladder, my appendix, part of my colon, and my small intestine removed," said Griffin.

He's been out of work since January but fellow officers have donated their off days and money to help him. He says the response from the community has been amazing.

"Complete strangers, I've gotten checks in the mail from people that I may have spoken to maybe once in my life," said Griffin.

He says he's ready to get back to work patrolling the streets of Thomasville on Monday.

"Looking forward to getting back to work and doing what I love," said Griffin.

The Thomasville police department has organized an event to help with medical expenses, and the cost of travel to Atlanta for treatment. The event is set for Thursday, April 17th, at Connection Church on Smith Ave.

The take-out dinner will be held from 4pm to 7pm. The menu consists of a chicken dinner with all of the fixings.

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket or making a donation, call Thomasville police at 229.227.3249 or 229.227.3302.

Donations can also be made for Griffin at Rose City Federal Credit Union.


Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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