Backing a Brother in Blue

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A boy in blue could use some reminders that he’s not alone. Recently, a story about an NYPD officer who has fallen on hard times, has been making the rounds on social media, as he could use all the support he can get.

An NYPD Police Officer named Mike Vinitsky who worked at the 71st Precinct in Brooklyn has been impacted by a number of health issues. In 2007, as Vinitsky was guarding a prisoner at a hospital, the prisoner got his hands on a metal post from a hospital bed and struck the officer in the head, causing serious injuries. Those injuries led to Vinitsky being forced to retire in 2010. As if that wasn’t bad enough, in July of this year, Vinitsky suffered a heart attack. Following the heart attack, it was discovered that Vinitsky has ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease). He is now at Coney Island Hospital, on a feeding tube and tracheostomy and unable to speak. He is only able to communicate with use of a computer system.

The only family that Vinitsky has is his 80-year-old mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, so she is unable to visit him often, leaving Vinitsky effectively—alone. However, that started to change a few weeks ago when members of the NYPD started to learn about his story. As word spreads, he’s getting more and more visits from fellow brothers and sisters in blue. Even local officers, including some retirees and an officer from the 101st Precinct have reached out to Vinitsky directly or visited him.

As the holidays approach, friends of the officer are asking people to help lift his spirits even more by sending him a holiday card or note wishing him well or thanking him for his service as an officer, so he knows that he’s not alone.

They can be sent to Mike Vinitsky, C/O Coney Island Hospital, 2601 Ocean Parkway Rm. 430B, Brooklyn, NY 11235.

Additionally, Vinitsky can use some financial help. He is forced to have 24-hour health aides assigned to him and is covering this and medical costs himself. To help cover the costs, friends have set up a GoFundMe account for him. Search “Mikhail Vinitsky” on GoFundMe.com to find the page to donate. As we go to press, more than $19,000 has been raised so far.

A group to share messages of support and to share updates on Vinitsky has also been set up on Facebook. Search “Mike Vinitsky Support Group” on Facebook.com to see updates. Although it’s not easy for him to respond, Vinitsky says he reads all of the messages on the page.

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