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Deputy ‘goes beyond the call of duty’ to save a life

Middlesex Deputy Sheriff Trey Blake was honored by the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors on December 18 for his efforts in saving the life of John Harrison of Deltaville on March 3, 2012. Above, from left, Blake, Harrison and Sheriff David Bushey look at the plaque awarded by the supervisors. (Photo by Larry Chowning)

by Larry S. Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors honored Middlesex Deputy Trey Blake on Tuesday, December 18, for his efforts in saving the life of Deltaville resident John Harrison.

At the supervisors meeting, county administrator Matt Walker read a letter Harrison recently sent to the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.

Harrison stated that on March 3 “a very close friend of mine with whom I had been communicating daily for months, had not been able to reach me for a week or so.”

Alarmed, the friend called the sheriff’s office from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and asked that someone go to Harrison’s house to try to find out Harrison’s whereabouts.

Deputy Blake was dispatched to investigate. After repeatedly and loudly calling out without any response, Blake walked around Harrison’s house and looked in the windows for any sign of life. No lights were on, making it difficult to see into the house. Blake saw nobody and saw no activity.

Harrison’s vehicle, however, was in the driveway and Blake, apparently sensing something was not right, took another look through the windows and saw a foot. Blake then kicked the door down and found Harrison lying unconscious on the floor.

Members of the Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad were called and were there within minutes. A helicopter was dispatched from VCU/MCV Medical Center in Richmond to take Harrison to a hospital.

Doctors estimated that Harrison had been on the floor barely conscious for perhaps two to three days. “Very likely I would have died had I remained there for several more hours,” wrote Harrison.

“I have thanked Deputy Blake for saving my life, but really words are inadequate to express my gratitude,” he wrote. “I will be indebted to your [sheriff’s] office and, specifically to him, forever.”

On December 18, board chairman Wayne Jessie presented Deputy Blake the plaque, which read, “in recognition of perseverance and action beyond the call of duty on March 3, 2012.”

“We thank you Deputy Blake for saving Mr. Harrison’s life and our congratulations go out to our sheriff’s department,” said Jessie.

Harrison experienced kidney failure due to sepsis (severe infection) from a serious pressure wound caused by being on the floor so long, and from complications from a bad case of gout. After surgery, Harrison underwent dialysis and other procedures during seven months of hospitalization.

posted 01.02.2013

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