Bank Steps up for Injured Heroes

ORLANDO, Fla. --

An Orange County deputy who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty is making a difference across the country.

He has made it his mission to make sure others dealing with tragedy do not lose their homes too.

"I was shot twice while chasing a drug dealer," Deputy Adam Pierce of the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

At a gas station on South Orange Blossom Trail, bullets hit Pierce in his head, and neck, severing his spinal cord.

The five-year veteran lost the ability to move from the waist down, and almost lost his Ocoee home where he grew up -- the home his father built.

"My income took a serious hit because of my injury," Pierce said.

His wife's aunt contacted Bank of America to see what they could do help the Pierce family keep their home. The bank not only paid off the $200,000 balance on his mortgage, but it's starting a national insured loan program for law enforcement officers, firefighters, medical personnel and teachers. If a worker is paralyzed, dismembered, or killed, the bank pays a portion of the mortgage up to $300,000.

"It was overwhelming. It was amazing," Pierce said.

"His story inspired us to do what we're doing today, add protection to the national champions mortgage program because of the issues they face on the job every day," Bank of America Mortgage President Floyd Robinson said.

While this loan program can't protect those who put their lives on the line to serve the community, it provides them with some financial protection.

"It offers piece of mind to everybody else who partakes in this thing anybody else the same thing could happen to them tomorrow," Pierce said.

It's estimated that in the Greater Orlando area, 80,000 people are eligible for the Neighborhood Champions program.

To comment on this story, send an e-mail to Kendra Oestreich.

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