SCOTT COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – In April 2021, Deputy Steve “Pee Wee” Smith was diagnosed with COVID-19. It would be ten months before he was able to return to duty with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
A video posted by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office states Smith was hospitalized for three months after his diagnosis. He spent five weeks on a ventilator battling the virus.
Ballad Health Chief Clinician Amit Vashist told News Channel 11 in September 2021 that close to 50% of the COVID-19 patients who become dependent on ventilators do not survive.
The sheriff’s office’s video says Smith underwent rehab in Kingsport, during which he had to learn how to perform basic motor functions again.
The video states Smith was able to return home in June 2021 and continued to take part in physical therapy.
Smith returned to his full duties with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 19, 2022.
The video posted by the sheriff’s office includes a statement attributed to Smith, who thanked those around him for their support through the ordeal.
In 2020, Smith was featured as one of News Channel 11’s Community Heroes and expressed his love for helping those in his community.
Scott County Sheriff Jeff Edds told News Channel 11 on Tuesday that Smith is an “all-around good person” who is loved by his coworkers and enjoys his work.