Gregg County deputy determined to overcome 4-month COVID-19 battle
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The long road to recovery for one East Texas deputy, once in a coma with COVID-19, is not over yet.
Gregg County Sheriff’s Corporal James Hagler was released from the hospital last month, but his struggle to recover continues.
After months in the hospital fighting Covid-19, James came home.
“It’s crazy all the things you take for granted. Basic chores going to the bathroom is a chore. Walking across the yard. I’ve learned a lot and learned to appreciate everything more,” he says.
Still having difficulty walking, James was released in April after being hospitalized for 4 months.
“James was hit the hardest; he was comatose almost immediately. Took a lot of prayers but nobody here had an issue. We all knew he’d pull through it,” said Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Captain Craig Harrington.
Hagler does physical therapy several times a week, and one of those sessions was a surprise visit to the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was good to be back. I am doing physical therapy Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” says James.
He’s had to file a request to take additional time off to rehab until he’s fit to return to work.
“It’s called sick pool, in which donated sick time goes into a pool for those that have catastrophic means. 45 additional days if necessary,” says Hagler’s wife Shalon.
Though his recovery is not complete, he understands he has to walk before he can run.
“I have heard that a whole lot through this whole process. It’s a struggle but there’s a reward in working towards that,” James says.
“He is a fighter for sure,” says Shalon.
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