PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–A Panama City Police officer diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor received a special surprise Thursday afternoon. Corporal Darby Gay was promoted to Sergeant while surrounded by friends and family. He joined the Panama City Police Department in 2008 and Chief Scott Ervin says the promotion was well-deserved.
“He lives it, he breathes it, and he’s just an example to others,” Chief Scott Ervin said.
On Thursday, Chief Scott Ervin surprised Gay with a promotion he’s worked hard for, moving him up the ranks from Corporal to Sergeant.
“There are two things that really make a Chief proud. One is when you get to promote somebody. The other is just watching ordinary people that come to work every day do extraordinary things,” Chief Scott Ervin said.
Sgt. Gay accepted his new role while surrounded by family and friends. His colleagues say it’s an honor to serve alongside him.
“It was deserving, well deserving, he had the knowledge, he had the experience to be a good sergeant,” said Sgt. Eric Beaty.
But that wasn’t all. Local non-profit, All Things Panama City Beach Outreach, heard about Sgt. Gay’s battle with cancer. After learning he wished to take his entire family to Disney World, they stepped in.
“We were able to raise $14,000 to go to his family to use in whatever way they desire to help out with costs,” said Chris Pfhal, a board member for All Things Panama City Beach Outreach.
Sgt. Gay says the police department has been there for his family every step of the way and he wouldn’t be able to navigate this journey without them.