Garrett Goodwin, local activist and veteran, dies unexpectedly after medical episode at Tampa casino

Posted at 10:41 AM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 10:44:25-04

Dan Goodwin just landed from California, a trip to Florida he never wanted to take. He's here to bury his brother.

"I don't understand it, I really don't," said Goodwin.

Goodwin held signs of his brother's latest project to help veterans through his non-profit, "American Heroes Foundation."

ABC Action News has profiled Garrett Goodwin multiple times. The 41-year-old was among the local responders to 9-11 and he once gave CPR to an infant mid-flight.  

"I am going to miss him so much, I don't know what to do," said Goodwin.

Goodwin said his brother went to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Thursday night and suffered a heart attack.

"I am still in shock. He was larger than life," said Goodwin.

We reached out to Hard Rock and a spokesperson said as soon as they knew Goodwin was in distress they got him help.

Action News also checked with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. A spokesperson said they responded within minutes.

Goodwin said his brother was not in the best of health suffering from multiple conditions from PTSD to pulmonary heart disease and while he doesn't know if time made a difference, he feels his brother's death serves as a strong reminder on the  importance of getting trained in CPR.

"In this day and age it is hard for me to believe no body knows how to administer  any type of aid to some one who is obviously in distress," said Goodwin.

For now, the priority is to carry on with Garrett's mission in Tampa.

Travis Horn, with S3 Media in Ybor City built the website for Garrett's non-profit. Also a veteran, he will take charge of his friends latest mission. 

"He was looking forward to get a Vietnam veteran into a home. It's in limbo but we will figure out." said Horn.

Goodwin hopes to figure it out. It's what he's holding on to. "Our goal is after we get him laid to rest is to get that accomplished," said Goodwin.

To learn more on the project click here: