Longtime Pine County deputy to enter hospice care after suffering stroke

Deputy Ben Neel has been with the Pine County Sheriff's Office since 2003.

A longtime deputy for the Pine County Sheriff's Office will be going into hospice care after he suffered a stroke following a surgery for a brain tumor, according to a Facebook page set up for the family.

Since 2003 Deputy Ben Neel has been with the sheriff's office, serving a variety roles including a school resource officer at Hinckley-Finlayson High School, a SWAT operator and a K-9 handler.

On October 25, Neel was on a hunting trip in South Dakota when he collapsed. Doctors learned Neel had two brain tumors that required surgery. Neel suffered a "massive" brain stem stroke as a complication of the surgery. After meeting with Neel's medical team on New Year's Eve, the family learned he will not be able to recover and will begin hospice care on January 8.

"The team wanted to give him ample time for recovery after surgery, and they have," read the latest Facebook post for the Ben Neel Family. "They have done everything that medicine can do, but the damage from the stroke was too much."

East Central Sports surprised the Neel family at Christmas time with several gifts, including four-wheelers for Neel's children and a locket for his wife.

For more information about Neel, visit his GoFundMe page. A fund has also been set up tfor the Neel family at Frandsen Bank and Trust in Pine City.