JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's been nearly six months since a Jonesboro Police Department officer suffered a "widow maker" heart attack while on the job.
The officer survived the ordeal, but when workers compensation denied his claim two times, his co-workers stepped up to the plate.
In August 2017, JPD Street Crimes Unit Investigator Josh Landreth was among a few officers helping track down a wanted felon in Mississippi County.
According to Landreth's coworker Investigator Bryan Bailey, the officers, working alongside the Fugitive Task Force, located the suspect.
"Investigator Landreth ended up tracking him down, got in a short physical altercation with him, and was able to apprehend him at the time," Bailey said. "It was about 90 degrees outside."
After the suspect was secured in a vehicle, Bailey said Landreth started having chest pains, shortness of breath, and was vomiting.
"We had a couple of medical personnel with us who ended up checking him out and figured out he was having an active heart attack at the time," Bailey said.
Landreth was taken to Osceola, where he was flown to St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. There, doctors performed emergency heart surgery and placed stints in his heart.
"They said it was the widow maker, which apparently not a lot of people survive. If it wasn't for the helicopter coming and flying him, if he'd gone by ground ambulance, he probably wouldn't have survived," Bailey said.
While he's healthy and back on the job now, Landreth's Workers Compensation claims were denied. Bailey said an appeal was denied as well, and now Landreth faces a mountain of medical bills.
To help, Bailey set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to help Landreth pay the bill.
"He's got medical bills in excess of $40,000," Bailey said. "We don't expect to be able to cover all of his bills but any little bit helps as far as taking pressure off him. It weighs on a person. He may not say it, he may not tell you...but $40,000, that's a lot of money."
The account was set up Wednesday, Jan. 3. As of the evening of Thursday, Jan. 4, more than 20 people had donated a total of $925.