Ofc. Tracy Gaines has spent the last 15 years with the Rockwall Police Department and serves as a school resource officer at Rockwall High School.
The husband and father of two is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. According to a colleague, Gaines believes he contracted COVID-19 from a small gathering at his home.
"It's heart-wrenching to know, Tracy has got the best heart and we all know him. Again, we're a small department, so we all know each other very closely, and to know that he's struggling so much in his family, it's heartbreaking," Rockwall police Det. Laurie Burks said.
She said they knew he had the coronavirus for about a week, but he ended up in the hospital and was intubated on July 13.
“Every day, we're getting some kind of news from his wife. it's been a constant up and down though, you know, nothing's been consistently great," Burks said. "You know, we'll have a really good day and then a bad night, so he's got us all on edge."
She said she last spoke with him on the Wednesday before he was admitted to the hospital and Gaines told her he had a low-grade fever but a pretty bad cough.
Burks said Gaines' wife and two kids also got the virus, but Gaines has an underlying health condition.
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On the Rockwall Police Officers Association Facebook page, they've posted frequent updates from Gaines' wife. On Tuesday she said, "Tracy is still very critical and on life support. He has made some progress but has a long journey. I know he is a very special person and touches many lives so I wanted to let you know we appreciate all the love, prayers and support."
“She (Gaines' wife) did tell me when he got admitted in the hospital, the last thing he said to her is, 'I'm not afraid,'" Burks said. “He's a fighter. He always has been, and we believe he's to get through this."
Other officers have set up fundraisers to try to raise money for Gaines' family and to help pay for medical bills.
Burks, who is the treasurer for the Rockwall Police Officers Association, said they're selling shirts that say "Team Gaines" and their goal is to raise $10,000. Click here to donate.
They've also set up a place for people to donate money through the Assist the Officer Foundation. Click here, and then choose the amount to donate and click "In Honor Of" and write "Officer Tracy Gaines."
"All we can ask for is prayer," Burks said. "If you can buy a shirt to assist and to contribute with that fundraiser, great, but if not, he just needs prayers."