CARROLL COUNTY, Ga - Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy Jody Smith died Friday after he was hospitalized for two weeks with complications from COVID-19, according to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.
The deputy, who was with the sheriff's office for eight years, was 49 years old.
"Although we know he is healed and with his savior, we are heartbroken for those left behind, his family, blood and blue, his friends, and all the lives he has touched during his 8 years with us at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office," said a Facebook post from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.
Friends, family, and members of the community gathered in support of Smith for a vigil on Thursday.
Deputy Smith was in the ICU at Tanner Medical Center.
The sheriff's office put faith in his recovery. His co-workers said he's a fighter and they're praying for his full recovery.
Deputy Smith may have been the catalyst for bringing everyone together, but Sheriff Terry Langley says they're also praying for all of those who are suffering from this virus.
"There's at least 90 patients here with COVID, at least 26 of them are in ICU on ventilators so we want to pray for them," said Sheriff Langley.
They're also praying for the overworked healthcare workers who are taking care of them.
During the prayer service, Deputy Smith's nurse came out to give his wife a hug and an update on how he's doing.
Cheryl Smith, the deputy's wife, said he had the breath to speak short words. She said she is thankful to have the communities support.
Smith will be remembered for the positive attitude he brought while protecting and serving Carroll County.
"We have comfort in knowing he will be watching over us all and we ask that everyone continue to pray for his family, his co-workers, and all those who are suffering from this unforgiving illness," the Facebook post read. "Until we meet again, Rest In Peace Deputy Jody Smith, we will take the watch from here."
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