Retired CMPD officer fighting for his life, needs new heart

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FOX 46 and CMPD are working to get results for an officer who for years protected life, and is now fighting for his.

Retired officer Harold Jackson checked into the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL Monday morning in hopes of getting a new heart. He’s dancing to a happy beat, but he knows the beat of his own heart is fading.

"My husband's heart is very weak and unhealthy,” wife Frances Jackson said. 

Frances says Officer Jackson is on the waiting list for a new heart, but likely a year away from the transplant. Even as he struggles to breathe, his spirits are lifted by all the support he's received from his fellow officers.

“You know I wish I could create another vocabulary to express our gratitude and gratefulness from my brother and sisters in blue, and everybody,’ Jackson said. 

Officer Jackson retired from CMPD in 2015. In his 35 years on the force, he worked quite a diverse beat—undercover, vice and narcotics, homicide, gang intel and he worked with mentoring programs.

"Working with young men trying to let them know that life is valuable,” Jackson said of his time mentoring.

His golden years have been a time of reflection. 

“Yes every time something happens to an officer no matter what it is, it hurts, and it seems like it takes a little bit out of me and wishing that I was there and I could do something, but I know I can't," he said. 

His heart may be tired and unhealthy, but he'll tell you that his old heart is full of love and gratitude for all those who are supporting him.

“Thank you and thank God,” Officer Jackson said. “Thank you and bless you all for everything that you're doing,” he said to FOX 46’s crew. 

He will have surgery on Thursday to have a pump put on his heart until he gets a transplant.

If you want to get results and help him, there is a GoFundMe set up for him. In addition, CMPD is hosting a barbecue at headquarters in uptown from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  in their parking lot. The money raised will help Officer Jackson’s medical bills.