WNY man loses leg while saving others during Hurricane Matthew

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA (WIVB)- A Jacksonville Sheriff’s officer is recovering after a leg amputation; he was injured while helping people to safety during Hurricane Matthew.

“He was out on patrol, you know, helping people and whatever. And his car door slammed into his leg and he got a cut in his leg,” said Officer Dennis Godfrey’s niece, Amy Pikula.

Within hours Godfrey was in a life or death dilemma.

That minor cut became infected with a flesh eating bacteria.

The 20-year veteran of the force and Western New York native was faced with a decision; lose his leg, or his life.

“It was scary. You know, I was worried. You know we were watching the news, we kept calling his wife,” Pikula told News 4.

Pikula lives in Orchard Park. When she learned her uncle’s condition became life-threatening, she jumped on a plane.

“He is a great guy. He is one of these guys that just is wonderful person and tries to help everyone,” she said of her uncle.

Now, Godfrey’s fellow officers are trying to help him. The Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police has created a Go Fund Me page to help Godfrey and his family during this recovery and transition.

So far they’ve already raised more than $35,000.

Pikula said they’re not the only ones who want to to help.

“Friends, people that don’t know him. My husband was in South Carolina last weekend; he ran into someone from Jacksonville and they happened to know the story and they had given to the Go Fund Me page as well.”

After weeks of being in the hospital, Godfrey is now at home.

Despite a long road ahead of him, Pikula told News 4 he’s in good spirits.

She said this outpouring of support has been some of the best medicine.

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