Coweta Sheriff's Lt. Ayers dies
by Wes Mayer
Donald Ayers, a lieutenant with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office who recently became ill with hemochromatosis, passed away Friday.
On Monday, Ayers, 49, went into a hepatic coma due to his failing liver, said his daughter, Tonya. After this, the doctors at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital only gave Ayers a week to live but said he was no longer in any pain. Ayers’ family was able to put him into Doctors Hospice of Georgia where he passed away.
The funeral services for Ayers will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Higgins Hillcrest Chapel Funeral Home in Newnan, and the family will receive friends today from 5 to 8 p.m.
Ayers was employed with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office for more than 27 years, said Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager. He began his service as a deputy in the patrol unit and worked his way up to become a lieutenant with the Court Services Division.
Tonya Ayers said her father was diagnosed with his disease last year, but doctors were unable to determine it was hemochromatosis until much later. Hemochromatosis is a genetic disease similar to sclerosis of the liver, and it caused Ayers’ liver to fail. He was initially placed on a liver transplant list, but was taken off later when his health worsened, and doctors did not believe he would survive the surgery and recovery process.
Ayers’ family has set up numerous fundraisers for assistance with the medical and hospice expenses. Three online fundraisers may be found at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hopefordonald/journal/view/id/53cdbd62a589b4f67cb40fa8, http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/hope-for-donald/204330 and http://www.gofundme.com/b10k14 .
Other fundraisers are also being held for the family, including a golf tournament at the Summer Grove golf course on Sept. 5 that is being organized by Newnan Police Lt. Mark Cooper and Newnan Police Sgt. Patricia Ayers, Ayers’ ex-wife.