Fundraiser Friday for Polk detective who got seriously ill, delivery baby three months early

Det. Zoe Vizcarrando ruptured her spleen

LAKELAND - It's been almost a month since an aneurysm nearly killed a Polk County Sheriff's detective and her baby.

Today, Zoe Vizcarrando is still recovering in the hospital but somehow she beat the odds.

On December 20, Zoe, who works in the Special Victims Unit at the sheriff's office, had an aneurysm that ruptured her spleen.

She was home with her son, while her fiance was heading to work.

"If she wouldn't have got there at that moment, it would have been done. She would have been gone," said Francis Maurice, Zoe's fiance on how being rushed to the hospital saved her life.

As soon as she got to the hospital, doctors rushed her into emergency surgery where they tried to save not one, but two lives.

Zoe was six months pregnant.

Three months premature, Juliano was born. Like most preemies, the beautiful, tony boy needs to develop under the eyes of doctors, but will make it.

As it turns out, so will his mother.

"The hospital, they're looking at it as a miracle," said Sgt. Mike Evans, Zoe's supervisor at the sheriff's office. "As a community, we know it's a miracle and we're just very proud of her and her strength."

Zoe and Juliano have been doing better the last few weeks, but they have barely even seen each other. Zoe is recovering at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, while her newborn is getting better at St. Joseph's Children Hospital in Tampa.

"It's crazy. I go back and forth," Maurice said. "I'm doing everything I can to be strong for everybody. For her family, for my family, and for the baby."

To try and help out with medical and transportation costs, Earhart's Runway Grill at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport is handing over a percentage of its sales to Zoe's family from Friday's "Country Night".

"She's just overwhelmed with so much support from everybody," Maurice said. "from work, from friends, from everything."

It's a community giving back to a young detective who just wants to see her son, and eventually get back to work.

"She's a big part of this group. She's a great detective and she works very hard," Evans said.


Local band Dock 7 will be performing Friday night at 8:00 at Earhart's Runway Grill, 3900 Don Emerson Dr., Lakeland, Fl 33811. Phone:  863-937-8900

If you can't make it to the event, and you would like to donate, send a check to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, c/o Detective Zoe Vizcarrondo, 1891 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven, FL., Make checks out to Polk Sheriff's Charities.

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