Palm Beach County firefighter fights for his life

Posted at 9:35 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 23:51:19-05

For the last 17 years, Palm Beach County Firefighter Dale McNeil has run into burning buildings saving lives.  He’s a hero who now needs saving himself.  This October, just days before their wedding McNeil went into cardiac arrest.

“He developed symptoms and they were dramatic and they were sudden,” said his wife Chris Webb.

During Dale’s annual work physical doctors found one of the rarest forms of heart disease in the world called Giant Cell Myocarditis. There are just 300 cases on record.

“I do the horrible thing that all people do,” said Webb, “I got on Google and I lost it.”

The disease, Webb said, is quite simply destroying Dale’s heart.

“I waited my whole life to find this man.  So I said, ‘ok, this is what we have, what do we do?’”

Right now, Dale is sedated in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and is in desperate need of a transplant. However, it’s a cost well above anything the couple can afford. 

“The only part I have to do is figure out how we pay for those resources,” Webb said. “It’s the smallest piece on the table.”

So every day for hours at a time, Chris sits in his hospital room, holds Dale’s hand and prays for a miracle that will bring back their former days and days where Dale can once again save lives, instead of fighting for his own. 

“He loves what he does,” said Webb.  “And he’ll be back doing it.”

McNeil’s family has set up a crowdfunding website to help with the astronomical medical expenses. 

Click here to donate.