BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County sheriff’s deputy has been hospitalized for nearly a month after testing positive for COVID-19.
Brandon Gore, a 30-year-old deputy working in the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Animal Protective Services Division, tested positive for the virus on March 3. A few days later on March 7, Gore was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and placed on a ventilator the following day.
Then, almost two weeks after his positive test results, Gore suffered a stroke on March 14.
“Leaving his right side paralyzed. He’s now unable to speak,” Friend and Neighbor Zach Copeland said. “So they really have a long journey, a long road ahead of them.”
The deputy began serving at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 as a part-time detention officer, moving to a full-time position in the Detention Center in 2016. In 2018, Deputy Gore transitioned to the Animal Protective Services Division.
“His kind demeanor and gentle soul made him the perfect fit to work with animals. Deputy Gore has become a favorite face around the shelter, greeting everyone with a kind word and a smile,” BCSO Spokeswoman Emily Flax said.
The deputy has been living with his mother, Tammy, for the last few years. She tested positive for the virus only one day after he did, but she has since recovered.
“When we found out, we were like ‘Man, Brandon’s going to get through this, Ms. Tammy’s going to get right through this, everything’s going to be fine.’ Then when we found out about the stroke…it was just…a bomb dropped. I mean it was awful, it was a bad feeling,” Copeland said.
As a friend, Copeland says watching the family go through this difficult time has been a challenge.
“He would give anybody the shirt off his back,” Copeland said. “He’s a really good guy and that’s why I hated seeing it happen to him because it’s just never good when you see bad things happen to really good people.”
Trying to find a way to help during a time where people can’t gather for fundraisers, Copeland started a GoFundMe to help with any medical bills or other necessities the 30-year-old may need to live comfortably.
“Our community has come together really, really well, especially this neighborhood,” Copeland said. “He has a lot of supporters in here and everybody’s just going every which way trying to figure out what we can do to help.”
For those who are unable to give, Copeland asks for prayers and positivity.
Gore is still in the hospital and Copeland says the next steps are working to remove the ventilator when he is ready.