A deputy from the Pine County Sheriff's Office has entered hospice care after his brain condition worsened on New Year's Eve.
Ben Neel, a 16-year veteran with the sheriff's office, suffered a seizure in late October while hunting, with doctors later finding tumors on his brain.
On Tuesday, tragedy struck when he suffered a massive brain stem stroke as a complication of surgery.
In an update posted on his GoFundMe page Thursday, it said: "The team wanted to give him ample time for recovery after surgery, and they have. They have done everything that medicine can do, but the damage from the stroke was too much.
"Ben will not be able to recover and will start hospice care on January 8."
Neel is a father of four children, William, Owen, Gabriel and Hunter, and his wife Jennifer is also an employee of the sheriff's office.
He has most recently been working as a K-9 officer, with the GoFundMe noting that he and his partner, Chewy, are "inseparable."
He is graduate of Hinckley-Finlayson High School, and attended law enforcement school at Hibbing Community College.
"Our office is heartbroken to share this news," the Pine County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook Thursday. "Please keep Ben's family in your thoughts and prayers."
You can find the family's GoFundMe here, otherwise you can give to the Neel family at Frandsen Bank and Trust in Pine City:
Frandsen Bank and Trust
Neel Family Fund
560 3rd Ave SE
Pine City, MN 55063