Published 1:26 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Covington County Chief Deputy David Anderson

Covington County Chief Deputy David Anderson

Chief’s happy to be alive, at work

A few months ago, the prognosis wasn’t favorable for Chief Deputy David Anderson. This week, he’s back on the job in limited capacity, but he’s alive and getting stronger by the day.

Anderson was given a 4 percent chance to live after being diagnosed with double pneumonia weeks back when he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.

“I remember being in Andalusia hospital and waking up in Baptist ICU,” he said.

Anderson said he was airlifted to Pensacola the day the Sheriff’s department lost Deputy Larry Smith, but said he didn’t find out until more than a week later that Smith had lost his life.

“I spent four days on the ventilator,” he said. “I was in serious condition. They didn’t give me much chance of making it.”

But Anderson had a skilled team of doctors and nurses working on him.

Anderson said when he woke up, he wasn’t sure where he was.

“I thought I had died,” he said. “I saw things, and I thought I was in the after life.”

Anderson said doctors had given him strong medication for the helicopter ride.

“I spent 10 days total at Baptist,” he said.

Anderson said at one time, he couldn’t even get up to walk because his blood pressure would drop too drastically.

He was taken to West Florida Rehabilitation, where he had to learn to walk again.

“I lost all the muscle tone and strength in my legs,” he said. “I couldn’t stand up and hold a walker without almost passing out.”

For 10 days at three hours per day, Anderson worked therapy, building his strength and learning to walk again.

He was able to walk out of rehab on his own.

Additionally, Anderson shed 35 pounds.

“When I went in, I weighed 265 pounds with all the fluid,” he said. “When I left therapy, I weighed 230 pounds.”

His diabetes has been regulated so that he’s not high risk.

“I’m a type 2 diabetic and now I’m better in line,” he said.

Anderson said he’s most thankful for his friends and family.

“My girlfriend Linda stayed with me every day and every night from the time I was in Andalusia hospital until I got out of Pensacola,” he said. “I thank her for that.”

Anderson said numerous friends, family, Sheriff Dennis Meeks and his wife, Altheia made numerous trips to Pensacola to show their support for him.

“The prayers in the churches, from individuals and on social media, I appreciate greatly,” he said. “They were overwhelming and very touching and without them, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Anderson said he got the release to come back to work on Veterans Day, but had a slight set back the next day, when he had to have surgery to remove his gall bladder.

“The doctors said that was possibly one of the reasons my pneumonia was so severe,” he said. “I’m on the road to recovery, and I’m back working at the office on a limited schedule but I hope to be back full time by the first of the year.”