Ohio community raises $19K+ to help firefighter-medic with medical bills

As Matt Myers battles Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, his colleagues at the Shawnee Township Fire Department are grateful for public's kindness

By Precious Grundy
The Lima News

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — When one brother is down, the heart of the other is there to pick him up. In this case, many firefighters/community members have stepped in to help their fellow brother as he is battling illness.

The Shawnee Township Fire Department union, Local #2550, has created a Gofundme account for firefighter and paramedic Matt Myers.

He is beloved in his community by so many. The overwhelming support proved this statement true when Myers was admitted into Bon Secours Mercy Health- St. Rita's last Monday. Myers was diagnosed with Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He has since been transported to Cleveland for further treatment.

In just a short period of time, community members raised over $19,000 toward their $20,000 goal.

"We are overwhelmed at the outpouring of support from our friends, family and community," said Shawnee Township Fire Department firefighter Joshua Hodges. "This money means that, during a time of unspeakable hardship, Matt's family does not have to worry about the hospital bills that have started coming in: paying for a hotel in Cleveland; the cost of meals; fuel back and forth; and so on."

Many community members shared his story, revealing how much Myers has helped their families and how this was the perfect time to give back.

According to a recent post by Shawnee Township Firefighters, Myers has served as a firefighter/paramedic for almost 25 years.

Hodges said above all else Myers is a family man.

"He has a beautiful wife, who teaches kindergarten at Shawnee Schools," added Hodges. "He has two children, his oldest daughter is recently married, and his son is working his way through Apollo's Firefighter program. Matt and his family are very active in his church. Matt is a man of strong integrity. His dedication to his fellow firefighters, his family and his community, is unmatched."

John Norris, Batallion Chief and the Public Information Officer for the Shawnee Township Fire Department, weighed in.

"Matt is an extremely nice guy," said Norris. "He is everyone's friend. Matt never met a stranger. He is one of those people that is genuine. It is a brotherhood at the firehouse and no truer evidence than what has happened than what has been going on."

Norris also said their team was able to spend time with Myers while he was in St. Rita's.

"He is an extremely important member of our department, just like all the rest of the guys are," added Norris. "We are a real close tight-knit family and we are really hoping that he does well. He is facing the fight of his life. Prayers are what is needed."

The family simply asks for continued prayers as Myers continues to fight for recovery.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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