A police officer from Norton, Massachusetts, has died after being hospitalized with coronavirus last month.
Det. Sgt. Stephen Desfosses' death was announced by the Norton Police Department Wednesday afternoon.
"It is with great sadness that Chief Brian Clark and the members of the Norton Police Department announce the passing of Detective Sergeant Stephen Desfosses after a courageous battle with Covid 19. Members of his family were by his side when he peacefully passed," the statement said.
Desfosses, who'd served Norton for more than 30 years, left behind a wife and children.
He had been hospitalized at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston with coronavirus since the week before Christmas.
"He was a loyal, trusted and dedicated member of this department holding many positions including Detective Division Commander, shift supervisor, training officer and he commanded the award-winning Norton Police Honor Guard," the police statement said.
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The department asked the public to remember Desfosses and thanked the community for the support already shown to his family and fellow officers.
"This happened so quickly, so unexpectedly," his wife, Jessica Desfosses, told NBC10 Boston Tuesday. "It's amazing how fast this has turned our lives upside down."
He'd been sedated and put on a ventilator, dialysis and a machine that replaced his lung functions, she said. Since she and their kids couldn't see him, they recorded messages to play on repeat in his room in the intensive care unit.
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The family had taken the virus seriously and limited their exposure, Jessica Desfosses said, but they believe he might have gotten COVID-19 while working.
Police officers held a nightly caravan by the Desfosses' home, and blue lights have been lit around their community.
About $80,000 had been raised to help the family by Tuesday night, and people who Stephen DesFosses has helped shared warm memories.
"Without this support, I couldn't stand out here right now," his wife said.
The Desfosses family planned to pay forward the support they've gotten from friends and strangers.