Taylor County Sheriff's Office holds fundraiser in honor of employee

An Abilene woman is living with a failed heart.

Shelia Pinkston, a warrant clerk for the Taylor County Sheriffs Office, is in need of a new heart.

"I'm mechanically run," said Pinkston. "No heartbeat, no pulse."

In 2004, Pinkston's heart began to fail.

"In 2013, I started with the Taylor County Sheriffs Office and shortly after that is when my heart failed," said Pinkston.

Pinkston now lives off of what's called an LVAD, a ventricular assistance device, which helps pump blood through her heart.

"You know technology is a big deal," said Pinkston. "Donations to the American Heart Association helps with findings in the future of cures for me and others like me."

Her staff around her has supported her through her life struggle.

"The Taylor County Sheriff's Office is one of the best places that I've ever worked, the support is awesome."

And more than a decade, Pinkston has been in need of a new heart.

"We want her to get a heart, we want her to be with us for many years to come," said Mari Anne Trail, a Taylor County Sheriff Office employee.

"It really hits home for us," said Sergeant Cliff Griffin.

For the second year in a row, a fundraiser, benefiting the American Heart Association, was hosted by the department.

"Heart disease is the number one killer in America and also for woman, every 80 seconds a woman dies from heart disease," Jeri Lynn Jones of the American Heart Association.

For the county and Pinkston's family, the fundraiser is an opportunity to spread awareness about heart disease.

"I have developed a very close bond with Shelia over the years," said Trail.

Despite not having a functioning heart, and currently running on her second LVAD due to a defect in her first one, Pinkston has shown the true strength of her heart in her persistent battle to live without one until she receives a heart transplant.

"It's the love and support and the faith in God," said Pinkston.

To donate to the American Heart Association, visit https://donatenow.heart.org/.

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