Haskell County Undersheriff Learning To Walk Again After COVID-19, Rare Syndrome


Friday, December 11th 2020, 6:25 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


HASKELL COUNTY, Okla. -

The Haskell County Undersheriff is home from the hospital after a fight with COVID-19 that doctors said left him with a very rare syndrome which means he needs to re-learn how to walk. 

Haskell County Undersheriff Terry Garland is back at home now after about a month at St. Francis, which he said felt like two years.  

"Still amazed that two weeks ago I couldn't walk,” he said while taking steps outside with his walker.  

Garland is back on his feet and going for short walks every day with his wife, Janette, since coming home from rehab this week.  He is getting stronger but is still not feeling 100 percent. He described what it feels like to have Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder where the body's immune system attacks the nerves. 

"It's like my feet are asleep, my hands are asleep, and when I walk it feels like I'm walking on water balloons,” Garland said.  

The 56-year-old said before testing positive for COVID-19 back in October, he was "perfectly healthy." 

"I have a whole new respect for the coronavirus,” he said. “It's serious."  

He has been in and out of hospitals ever since.  

"All the doctors had told me that the Guillain-Barré was caused by the coronavirus. Said there was no doubt in their mind."  

He spent most of his time at St. Francis in Tulsa, where he said he was partially paralyzed for two weeks. His wife shared a picture of him sleeping, showing he could not even shut his eyes.  

"It was just scary. I still can't close my right eye all the way. But it'll get there,” Garland said.  

His hard work in rehab is paying off, but he won't take all the credit.  

AMY: “What has gotten you through every day?"  

"God. People praying. My wife, my kids, my grandkids. Cause I said - 'I'm coming back to see them,'” Garland said.  

Now that he's home, his granddaughter Ruby is enjoying every moment she can going for rides on his walker, which the undersheriff hopes he won't need for much longer.  

Garland said he hopes to return to work at the sheriff’s office sometime next week, even if it’s just for a few hours of desk work.