Orangeburg Co. deputy honored with procession after 75-day COVID battle

Orangeburg Co. deputy honored with procession after 75-day COVID battle

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A deputy with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office spent about 75 days in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

As he returned home this weekend, his family and the sheriff’s office wanted to be sure he knew just how much he was missed.

A celebratory procession was all in honor of Deputy Lieutenant Dexter Ladson as he made it back home after more than two months in the hospital.

His sister, Tarnisha Washington, said back in November, “It all came down on him that Friday night, Saturday and taking the little over-the-counter stuff, he thought that was going to help, but when he realized that it was getting worse Sunday, that’s when he was like, ‘I’ve got to go to the hospital.”

On Nov. 22, he tested positive for coronavirus and was also diagnosed with double pneumonia.

“COVID is real. It’s no joke. Being in the hospital without your family is no joke,” said Washington, telling WIS-TV just how amazed doctors were by his recovery, “because the whole time he was on that ventilator, his blood pressured stayed the same, his heart rate stayed the same, his organs, nothing shut down. So, they were calling him a miracle from day one. They was like, they never had a patient like him before.”

When she heard her brother was finally headed home, Washington said, “I called Sheriff Leroy Ravenell and Captain James Green and all they said was, ‘say no more.”

She described the moment Deputy Ladson realized the procession was all for him.

“When he saw that, he broke down and cried. He said, ‘I’m so happy.’ He said, ‘I’m so happy and I’m glad to be home,” said Washington.

The deputy lieutenant is still undergoing physical therapy, but after nearly 30 years with the department, his sister says he’s eager to get back to work.

“He is pushing himself because he wants to get back to doing what he loves to do. He loves working with the kids. He loves protecting our community and the sheriff’s office, oh man, that’s his heart,” said Washington.

His sister also says doctors told the family that Deputy Ladson is one of just 10% of patients to make it back home after being on a ventilator.

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