A Dawson County Sheriff’s deputy who collapsed while en route to a call last week has been released from the hospital after undergoing emergency surgery.
Sheriff’s Cpl. Chase Johns, who has been on the force since 1998, continues to recover from the surgery to repair an aortic aneurism and is at home with his family, his supervisor said this week.
Johns, 45, was responding to a shoplifting call Dec. 20 at North Georgia Premium Outlets when he told a fellow officer he wasn’t feeling well, said Lt. Col. Greg Rowan. Within moments, he had collapsed.
Johns was taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth, where doctors diagnosed the situation.
“Before that we didn’t know what was going on,” Rowan said.
A convoy of patrol cars and emergency vehicles from the Georgia State Patrol and Dawson, Forsyth and Hall counties then escorted the ambulance to the Ronnie Green Heart Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
Emergency surgery was performed that night.
Johns is on the mend, said Rowan, who added “you can’t keep someone like that down.”
“One of the first things he said to me was where was his firearm,” Rowan said.
Sheriff Billy Carlisle said Johns could be able to return to work on light duty in about six weeks.
“He’s an integral part of a lot of different programs in this department,” the sheriff said. “With an employee like Chase, you miss them when they’re out. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
In addition to leading the department’s special response team, Johns is a K9 handler working in drug enforcement and is a member of the dive team.
Rowan said a fund has been set up at United Community Bank to assist the Johns family with medical expenses.