Community hosts luncheon to support officer’s daughter

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Wives of Jackson police officers hosted a benefit lunch Friday on the lawn of the police department to raise money for a daughter of one of their own. They held the special cookout for local officer Blake Gilbert’s daughter, Abby. She is battling Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which causes her lungs to fill with fluid. “She received top-notch care,” Gilbert said. “We always felt like she was in the best care possible.” Abby spent 47 days in the Vanderbilt hospital, and 42 of those days in the ICU. She is now in a rehabilitation center in Birmingham, Ala. “She went on the ECMO machine, which is a type of lung and heart bypass,” Gilbert said. “She was on that for about two weeks and come off of that and ever since then she has been improving.” Hundreds of people came to the cookout to show their support. “Not only do we hope to raise money for Abby’s medical bills, but we also want to show Blake and Stephanie that the community is behind them and supports them for what they’re going through,” said Brittany Wood, one of the event coordinators. All food was donated for the event. The asking price for the sack lunch was $5, which included a hot dog or hamburger, chips and a drink. All proceeds go directly to the family. More than $5,000 were raised today from the lunches, t-shirts and donations. “It means so much to me to know that my blue family and my blood family have come together and done something for me,” said Gilbert.

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