Check presented to Chicopee police officer recovering from heart attack
CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The city of Chicopee continues to rally behind Chicopee Police Officer Mark ‘Shrek’ Wilkes. On Thursday, a local business presented him with a $13,000 check to help him on his long road to recovery after suffering a heart attack in March playing in the ‘Battle of the Badges’ hockey game.
“I don’t like all the fanfare or attention, but if I can help somebody right now looking at the TV saying ‘If he can do it, I can do it,’ that’s a real win for me,” Wilkes explained.
Rumbleseat Bar and Grill owner Bill Stetson presented Wilkes with a check for $13,000, which was raised through a charity golf tournament and umbrella sales.
“We always worked towards helping people in the community and this happens to be the event, especially Chicopee,” Stetson said.
It’s been a long year for Wilkes and his family. On March 12, Wilkes suffered a heart attack playing in the annual ‘Battle of the Badges’ hockey tournament. He doesn’t remember much from that day. He reflected on his continuing battle to recovery.
“I was in the hospital for 175 days. Everything, I had complete kidney failure that came back, I had a stroke, my left side is still almost completely paralyzed. I had another heart attack, where they had to revive me. I had my gallbladder out, went into septic shock. It’s been a long haul,” Wilkes explained.
He told Western Mass News that every day is a miracle.
“A lot of the doctors were saying 87 percent of people that went through what you went through don’t make it, so I feel blessed and honored that I’m still here,” Wilkes noted.
Wilkes spent 23 years on the force, much of that time working with kids at the Boys and Girls Club Willimansett Center and Sunshine Village. The real heroes, he said, are everyone coming together to support his family through fundraisers, kind messages, and other initiatives.
“It makes me feel good that all these people love me. A lot of these people didn’t know me. I got letters from Florida I didn’t even know and they said ‘I hope you’re doing good,’” Wilkes noted. “Thank you and I love you all.”
If you’re interested in supporting Wilkes and his family, umbrellas sporting the Chicopee Police Department logo will be available at the Rumbleseat Bar and Grill for $10.
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