Orlando’s ABC affiliate reports:
First responder Gerry Realin worked nearly round-the-clock after the Pulse terror attack on June 12. But now, because of the PTSD that followed that tragic night, his family could lose everything, Realin’s wife said.
Jessica Realin said a loophole in state law lets police departments off the hook when their officers get PTSD. They said a Florida statute doesn’t recognize PTSD as a work-related injury and therefore, workman’s compensation will not cover his treatment. Now the family is pushing to close a loophole in the state law.
Right now, the police officer can’t even drive by Pulse without triggering his PTSD. Gerry Realin was one of the small group of officers who helped move the 49 people who died inside the club.
“When he got home, 2:30 the next morning, he came in very quiet, was different, looked at both of our kids, then went in the shower and just lost it,” Jessica Realin said. “And he didn’t stop crying. The next day, it was on and off. And it’s just been really hard.”
According to the family’s attorney, Florida law stipulates that a police officer must have an accompanying physical injury in order for PTSD to be covered. The family has set up a GoFundMe page for his treatment.