Editor's note: Everman Police Officer Alex Arango died Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Click here for the latest information and continue reading below for NBC 5's previous reporting.
An Everman police officer is fighting for his life after being diagnosed with COVID–19.
Officer Alex Arango has been in ICU for a week. On Monday his family said he was placed on a ventilator.
When they got the call from doctors, they said they immediately called Officer Arango's coworkers and friends for a prayer vigil. Hours later, dozens had gathered in the parking lot at Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest in Fort Worth.
“We are all family. It’s very hard for anything to impact any one of us and the department not feel it. So, it’s incredibly personal for everyone within the department,” said Everman Chief of Police, Craig Spencer.
Arango is a 27-year veteran of the Everman Police Department. Colleagues, friends and family shared stories about how he’s typically the person to lift people’s spirits. They felt it was their turn to lift his.
At one point during the vigil, Arango’s sister, Danet Arango-Henry, placed a facetime call up to his hospital room. A nurse held the phone so the family could say hello, even though Arango could not respond.
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“I feel like he still can hear us and the power of prayer that transcends through your soul,” she said. “And we just want him to hear that there were many people out here praying for him.”
The Everman Police Department is made up of 23 officers. Chief Spencer said it’s a very close department, so Arango's absence is deeply felt.
The chief said he knew something wasn’t right when Arango, who never complains of not feeling well, told him he was feeling pretty bad. The COVID diagnosis came shortly after that.
Still, those who know Arango best said he's tough and they're hopeful he'll recover.
Officer Arango’s family set up a Go Fund Me page.