NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A 24-year veteran of the NOPD has spent most of his life serving others, and now others reach out to help him.
Detective Keenan Shields had a heart transplant in January, and now his co workers and family are spearheading fundraisers to help with medical bills and treatments.
"I couldn't do this a week ago, and this makes me happy," Shields said as he cut up chicken wings for dinner.
Cooking is therapy for the man who a few months ago didn't know if he would live or die.
"I received a heart transplant January 25, 2015," he said.
He believes the stress of losing his home and the turmoil in the aftermath of Katrina literally broke his heart.
"My family relocated to Georgia, and I was here working everyday," he said.
Shields had three heart attacks between 2006 and 2010.
The latest one at work in December of last year took him away from police duties and almost took his life.
"As soon as I pulled in the parking lot the chest pains were there," Shields said.
Fifth District Commander Christopher Goodly remembers the day Shields was rushed to the hospital with his fourth heart attack. Doctors told Shields his only option was eventually a heart transplant.
"As a human being he has a humble spirit and great character. He's a great person to work with, work around and be around," Goodly said.
Shields say without a transplant he wouldn't have made it as far as doctors are concerned.
"But I'm a man filled with glory and God," he said.
He's a husband and father of three. His co-workers and friends know the uphill struggle he has to bear especially with expenses.
"The range probably reaches the seven figures easily after all is said and done and this is a working man, a family man," Goodly said.
Shields' desk at Fifth District is the way he left it. Even the calendar is the same.
"His area of the workplace is untouched because we need him!" Goodly said.
Shields says he wants to make it clear he is going back to work as soon as he's able.