INDIANAPOLIS - Thousands of dollars in donations will pay to fly an ailing retired Indianapolis police officer home to be with his family.
The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police had issued a plea for donations to help fly Frank Wefler home to Indiana in the final days of his life.
After more than 30 years on the force, Wefler and his wife retired to Las Vegas.
But instead of enjoying the warmth and sunshine, Wefler had two heart attacks and three strokes, the last one leaving him unable to speak to his three children and wife, Carol.
When his wife had her own health checked, she learned she had stage-four cancer in four major organs and was given just a week to live.
She returned to Indianapolis to be with her children and receive treatment, but the family is hoping to reunite the couple before they pass.
Wefler's police pension wouldn't cover the cost of a medical flight to be by her side, an expense of $15,000 to $20,000, but the family said Thursday they have raised more than enough money through donations.
"So as they both approach the end, so to speak, the ability for them to be together is what we've been striving for," said Frank and Carol's son, Todd Pershing. "I remember laying in bed, and I haven't prayed in a long time, and I asked God, 'You've got to help me through this. What do I do?'"
Wefler will return to Indiana on Sunday via a flight with Grace on Wings.
The family will gather for an early Thanksgiving dinner Sunday, because it's unclear how long both parents will live.
They thanked everyone who showed support and donated to make the reunion possible.
"I want to take the leftover money, and it's still coming in, and I want to establish a fund so retired officers they will never be in this situation again," Pershing said.