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Phoenix police officer lends hand to cancer-stricken homeless man

PHOENIX — Thanks to the actions of a Phoenix police officer, a homeless man no longer risks amputation of one of his hands.

Officer Richard DiCarlo came across Thomas Goodwin, a local homeless man who had been diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer in his hand. It soon became apparent that Goodwin was in dire need of medical attention.

“Had Officer DiCarlo not come to me when he did, I would not have a hand,” Goodwin said.

Being homeless, Goodwin did not have the resources for proper treatment nor a safe place for pre- and post-surgical care.

Goodwin said, once DiCarlo stepped in and connected him with a local nonprofit that specializes in cases such as Goodwin’s, he was able to get the treatment he needed.

“(DiCarlo) took me to the medical center,” he said. “They looked at me and like, ‘Whoa, you mean business now, you’ve got an officer with you!'”

DiCarlo, a 23-year veteran, said it was a simple act of transporting Goodwin and connecting the dots for him.

“When I talked my sergeant about it, after I had met (Goodwin), I could barely get the sentence out of my before he said, ‘Yes,'” DiCarlo said. “Many times, when people are calling police or have encounters with the police, they’re not at their best, and I appreciate that I was able to recognize where (Goodwin) was in his healthcare.”