The Blount County Sheriff is asking for prayers after what he called a catastrophic day for the sheriff's office Tuesday.

Sheriff Mark Moon said one employee passed away after a short battle with cancer, and another employee lost everything in a house fire.

April Santos had worked as a corrections officer with the sheriff's office since June 2022. Since she hadn't been there very long when she was diagnosed with cancer in October, Moon said other employees donated sick time to help her get through. However, due to Alabama law, there was only so much they could give.

"So, a donor in the community donated a lot of things for her when she had to go on leave," said Moon. "They came in and paid her insurance and paid her enough for a salary."

Moon said the gracious donation for Santos and her four children was much appreciated. However, Santos lost her own mother to cancer when she was young, so she had her grandmother come to town to help her with her physical needs. Unfortunately, her grandmother had a stroke shortly after she arrived.

"We're all hurting for her," Moon added. "She had four children, and this has been painful to watch."

After learning about the loss of Santos, Moon said a jail captain lost his home to a fire Tuesday night. The sheriff's office is now collecting donations for Capt. Ron Adkins.

"His sizes are 36x30 pants, XL shirts, and size 10 shoes," the sheriff's office posted on Facebook. "If you would like to make monetary donations to either family, you can do so, and it would be greatly appreciated. You can bring those donations to the sheriff's office or mail them to 225 Industrial Park Rd Oneonta AL 35121."

Moon said prayers are much appreciated at this difficult time.

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