‘Gave the ultimate gift today:’ Orange County sheriff’s deputy dies, donates organs

Deputy Milmerstadt had serious brain injury

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An Orange County deputy hospitalized after suffering a serious brain injury has died, but not before donating his organs, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

A social media post by the law enforcement agency on Sunday read in part, “Deputy Michael Milmerstadt gave the ultimate gift today - one that could save the lives of eight people. The organ donation was completed this morning & now we begin the process of laying him to rest.”

Milmerstadt was at a gym when he developed a severe headache. The sheriff’s office said the headache turned out to be a brain injury.

Last week, the sheriff’s office announced that Milmerstadt’s family said goodbye to him as he remained on life support. The family said it was their wish that he provide a chance at life to others through organ donation.

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“We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers, support and love you have shown us.

We are devastated that despite all of our prayers, nothing could be done to save Mike.

Mike is an amazing, father, husband, son, friend and deputy. Nothing made him happier than being with his wife Melanie and their boys.

Mike loved his family, loved his work and his colleagues, and loved Mixed Martial Arts. His dedication to all of those things made him a great husband, father, deputy and fighter.

We know he’s been fighting all week in the most important bout of his life. His departure leaves a painful void that can never be filled.

We want to thank Mike’s colleagues at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for wrapping their arms around our entire family, and holding us tight as we made our way through this devastating journey.

We are so grateful to all of you who have contributed to the GoFundMe. Melanie and the kids will need all of that support as they attempt to move forward. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”

Deputy Milmerstadt’s family

Colleagues set up a GoFundMe for the family that has raised over $180,000 as of Sunday evening.

Deputy Michael Milmerstadt passed away on Sunday, but not before donating his organs to help save the life of others. (Orange County Sheriff's Office)

“Mike is an amazing, father, husband, son, friend and deputy. Nothing made him happier than being with his wife Melanie and their boys,” the page read.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.