LARGO, Fla. — The family of Phillip Bailey is mourning the loss of a man they knew to be a hero.
Bailey was a retired Pinellas County firefighter, serving as a part of the Largo Fire Department for 22 years. The 65-year-old retired from the Largo Fire Department as a Lieutenant.
After he retired, Bailey moved back to Columbia, Kentucky, where he was born.
In Columbia, Bailey joined the Columbia-Adair County Volunteer Fire Department continuing to serve those in his community.
Bailey became sick in October 2022 and was in the hospital fighting for his life. His son, Stephen Bailey, said he passed away on Thanksgiving from multisystem organ failure.
Phillip Bailey was very sick and had his leg amputated. While in the hospital, his son said he contracted COVID-19. That created more health challenges.
The family had started a GoFundMe to pay for medical expenses and make his home more handicap accessible. They raised more than $15,000. Now, Stephen Bailey said those funds will go toward funeral expenses.
Stephen Bailey said his family is at peace knowing he was able to say his goodbye and added he is comfortable in his passing.
"He was a hero in my eyes for sure," Stephen Bailey said.
Phillip Bailey leaves behind his mother, his wife, a son, three stepsons and grandchildren.
His funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Columbia at the Grissom-Martin Funeral Home. Phillip Bailey will be buried in the Haven Hill Cemetery with Firefighter Honors.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family said people can donate to Benevolent Florida Firefighters.