People step in to help Phoenix police officer diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
Sgt. Frank Marotta spent 21 years serving the people of Phoenix. Now, he finds himself on the receiving end.
While Sgt. Marotta was in the hospital, following a recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), his brothers went to work, without having to be asked, in order to make sure Sgt. Marotta's entire house is wheelchair-accessible.
"It came on incredibly quickly, and we weren't prepared for this kind of thing in our lives," said Sgt. Marotta's wife, Kristen.
MS has changed everything for Sgt. Marotta and his family. Suddenly for Sgt. Marotta, getting around his own house was difficult.
"I literally could not go out here without two people helping me out to get down on the patio," said Sgt. Marotta.
Throughout the past year, officers in the Cactus Precinct and throughout the entire police department have been renovating the house, while Sgt. Marotta was in the hospital.
It was something Sgt. Marotta did not ask for.
"The hardest thing is going from someone that protects and helps other people to someone thats now needing help," said Sgt. Marotta. "It's tough. It's been a role reversal."
The carpet was replaced with hard flooring, the master bathroom entry was widened, and the tub was removed to create a shower Sgt. Marotta can get into and out of on his own.
In the backyard, there was a five-inch drop from the door to the dirt ground. Now, Sgt. Marotta can easily go into the backyard, where his entire family can spend time together, and where he can enjoy his morning coffee with his wife, by the pool.
"We weren't able to do that for two years until the guys came in and made all these changes," said Kristen.
"You don't think you make a big difference in people's lives," said Sgt. Marotta. "Then, when something happens to you and they're there for you, it takes your breath away."