Tributes paid to 'family man' cop who died from suspected 9/11-related cancer: 'It's heartbreaking'
A 'family man' police officer has died from cancer linked to 9/11, his heartbroken family has claimed.
Brooklyn native Dave Guevara passed away on Friday aged just 45.
The father-of-two suspected he was he was suffering from pneumonia two weeks ago before doctors found a large mass on his lungs, he then died from kidney failure.
His widow Lakisha Guevara said her husband served with NYPD for 23 years and although he wasn't an emergency responder he put in many hours at the recovery mission following the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Lakisha said her husband never smoked and was healthy, so she thinks being exposed to toxic fumes at Ground Zero could have caused his illness.
Lakisha said: "His death happened so suddenly, within two and a half weeks.
"He deteriorated to a point where most of his organs failed, and it was one thing after another where every day I would go to the hospital and the doctor told me something else failed."
She also told New York Daily News about the impact his rescue work had on him.
She said: "It certainly changed the way he perceived things.
"It’s a horror when you have to see people or even have to think you’re digging for people who have not made it in such a catastrophic way. It’s overwhelming."
Sadly she said that her late husband was contemplating retiring in September but never got the chance.
She said: "That was a conversation that was on the forefront every single day.
"And he didn’t get a chance to even make that decision, so it’s heartbreaking."
Dave's sister-in-law Marcia Richardson also paid tribute to him, calling him a "family man" who was devoted to his son and daughter, who are aged 14 and 20 respectively.
She said: "He worked hard but he was very dedicated to his kids."
Read More: 9/11: The day the world shook