TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office honored a fallen deputy after he died from a brain injury last month.
On Saturday, the sheriff’s office and Orange County Sheriff John Mina said goodbye to Deputy Mike Milmerstadt. During his funeral service, Sheriff Mina presented Deputy Milmerstadt’s family with the United States flag “as a symbol of appreciation.”
“Today, we said goodbye to Deputy Mike Milmerstadt. On behalf of OCSO, @SheriffMina presented the United States flag to the Milmerstadt family as a symbol of our appreciation for Mike’s honorable service to Orange County. Mike was a loving husband, father, deputy and fighter,” the sheriff’s office posted on Twitter.
Deputy Milmerstadt became hospitalized in March after he developed a headache after working out at a gym while off-duty.
According to the sheriff’s office Facebook page, it was determined that Milmerstadt suffered a serious brain injury. The deputy was later placed on life support because it was his and his family’s wish that he “provide a chance at life to others through organ donation.”
After being taken off life support, the sheriff’s office said Milmerstadt’s wish came true as he was able to give the “ultimate gift” and donate his organs, ultimately saving the lives of eight people.
“Deputy Michael Milmerstadt gave the ultimate gift today — one that could save the lives of eight people,” the sheriff’s office said. “The organ donation was completed this morning & now we begin the process of laying him to rest.”
Following Milmerstadt’s death, his family released a statement thanking everyone in the community for their support during this difficult time.
We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers, support and love you have shown us.
We are devastated that despite all of our prayers, nothing could be done to save Mike.
Mike is an amazing, father, husband, son, friend and deputy. Nothing made him happier than being with his wife Melanie and their boys.
Mike loved his family, loved his work and his colleagues, and loved Mixed Martial Arts. His dedication to all of those things made him a great husband, father, deputy and fighter.
We know he’s been fighting all week in the most important bout of his life. His departure leaves a painful void that can never be filled.
We want to thank Mike’s colleagues at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for wrapping their arms around our entire family, and holding us tight as we made our way through this devastating journey.
We are so grateful to all of you who have contributed to the GoFundMe. Melanie and the kids will need all of that support as they attempt to move forward. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.The Milmerstadt Family
Before his death, Milmerstadt was a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team. He also had a history of mixed martial arts training.