JCPD stepping up to help officer’s son in need of heart transplant

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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Jay Vandermark’s 4-year-old son, Jackson, has dealt with heart issues since he was born. Now he needs a heart transplant.

Jackson is at a New York City hospital hoping for a match soon.

“We were admitted down here a couple weeks ago. Now he’s on an IV medication to help with the heart failure and he’s just kind of waiting for a new heart,” Jay Vandermark said.

Finding a match could take months.

“You know there has to be a donor and unfortunately for a donor to come along, another child has to pass unfortunately. The size has got to be comparable to him, same blood type,’ Vandermark said.

Vandermark said his wife, Lisa, stays with Jackson. Then he travels to the city to see Jackson on his days off.

“You know my family’s gonna be split. I’m doing my best to keep working,” Vandermark said.

Vandermark is new to the Johnson City Police Department and doesn’t have much sick time. That’s where his fellow officers have stepped in.

“He hasn’t saved up a lot of sick time like some of the officers that have been here a long time. So guys are stepping up to donate sick time so that he can spend more time with his son especially after he recovers from the transplant once that happens,” Brent Dodge, Johnson City police chief, said.

JCPD has also organized a charity dinner to benefit the Vandermarks, which will take place Saturday, December 8 at the Endicott Elks Lodge. More information on attending can be found on its Facebook event page here.

“As a police officer you’re always trying to give to the community and that’s what the rest of the guys are trying to do for us. You know, we certainly appreciate that,” Vandermark said.

Grace Gagnon

Grace Gagnon

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