Sher­iff’s deputy feel­ing fine fol­low­ing brain surgery

The Standard Journal - - Front Page - By KEVIN MYRICK Edi­tor

Polk County Sher­iff’s Deputy Kevin Chan­dler would never have guessed at the age of 28 that he’d be re­cov­er­ing from brain surgery, but that’s the sit­u­a­tion he’s found him­self in af­ter he found out from neu­ro­log­i­cal spe­cial­ists he was suf­fer­ing from a chiari mal­for­ma­tion in­side his head.

Chan­dler, who re­mains with the Polk County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, has been re­cov­er­ing from brain surgery for more than a week af­ter surgeons op­er­ated to re­lieve the pres­sure be­ing caused by his cere­bel­lum push­ing up against his skull and spinal col­umn.

Prior to his surgery, Chan­dler said he no­ticed over the past year his health de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and doc­tors had a hard time ex­plain­ing why.

“When I found out about it, ob­vi­ously it was dev­as­tat­ing to learn you have to have brain surgery, es­pe­cially at a young age,” he said. “But it’s re­ally not that un­com­mon. Most people don’t re­al­ize they have it, and doc­tors can’t fig­ure out what’s go­ing on. Luck­ily they caught mine by do­ing an MRI.”

He said his wife re­mained per­sis­tent with him af­ter vis­it­ing a doc­tor in Rome who thought he knew what the prob­lem was but said it was noth­ing to worry about.

Ever since he found out about the con­di­tion, he said the out­pour­ing of sup­port from his co­work­ers and the com­mand staff at the Polk County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, and in the com­mu­nity, has been overwhelming and ap­pre­ci­ated.

“They raised a tremen­dous amount of money for these up­com­ing med­i­cal ex­penses,” he said. “I con­sider my co­work­ers true friends, but friend­ship has gone past any­thing I’d imag­ined in this process.”

Chan­dler said Sher­iff Johnny Moats said so long as he re­mained a deputy on the force, he would con­tinue to work with him to en­sure he could stay em­ployed.

“It takes a lot of stress off a per­son when you don’t have to worry about your em­ployer knock­ing you for hav­ing a disability,” he said. “Sher­iff Moats told me that no mat­ter what ends up hap­pen­ing, ‘if we have to end up putting a wheel­chair ramp in this depart­ment, you’ll have a job.’”

Chan­dler said a lot of the fundrais­ing sup­port from the depart­ment and the com­mu­nity have been spear­headed by deputy Rachel Had­dix, head of the CHAMPS pro­gram.

He said he and his fam­ily have no idea how to thank ev­ery­one for the help thus far.

Chan­dler said he hopes most of his health wor­ries will be over for now.

“There is no cure, but fol­low­ing the de­com­pres­sion surgery, they keep telling me most symp­toms will be 85 per­cent im­proved,” he said.

He al­ready notices a dif­fer­ence as he’s back on his feet and heal­ing. Chan­dler said he didn’t know when he’d be able to take up work at the Sher­iff’s Of­fice again.

“Each per­son is dif­fer­ent, pa­tients see so many var­ied re­sults from the surgery,” he said. “We’ll have to see on down the road what hap­pens. Ul­ti­mately it’ll be up to my doc­tor as to whether I can go back to work.”

Kevin Chan­dler sits with his wife Jenn and their daugh­ter Ta­tum and son Brant.

Deputy Kevin Chan­dler with the com­mand staff and CHAMPS ed­u­ca­tor Rachel Had­dix.

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