Crossville Police Chief Jessie Brooks has recovered from COVID-19 and shares his experience in hopes of encouraging others and sharing appreciation.
“I went camping with my family at Cumberland Mountain State Park over Thanksgiving weekend as part of our annual tradition,” Brooks said. “We were packing up the camper when I started to feel off and like something just wasn’t right.”
Having diabetes as an underlying health condition, Brooks knew he should not delay his care. He learned he had been in contact with someone who tested positive, so he went to the health department for testing and refrained from social contact to minimize risk of potential virus spread.
“My symptoms of high fever and chills started that night, and I went to stay with family in my hometown of Kingston so I wouldn’t be alone. It wasn’t long before I found myself in the Emergency Department at Roane Medical Center.”
He had developed pneumonia and was hospitalized for two days. As a COVID-19 patient, he was unable to have visitors; however he credits his care team at Roane Medical Center, a member of Covenant Health, for being so supportive.
“Everyone was excellent; however it was Savanna Nyholm, RN on nights who was especially sweet to me. Everyone who came into my room had to wear PPE, yet she would still make an effort to talk and encourage me,” recalls Brooks. “We chatted while I tried to watch a football game on TV, and she didn’t have to do that, but it brought me comfort during such a concerning time.”
Brooks was discharged home on oxygen. It had him really concerned because it was new to him, and he couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be before he could breathe freely on room air again. It wasn’t long before he found additional comfort from Freida Hamby, who works as a respiratory therapist.
“I knew her prior to my hospitalization, so she helped relieve my fear by giving me a ‘pep talk’ of sorts so I would know more of what to expect,” he remembers.
It was about 14 days before Brooks felt somewhat better and his mental fog started to resolve.
While continuing his recovery at home, he remembers the joy he experienced watching the Christmas Star on December 21, because it was such a rare occasion for it to be seen by the unaided eye.
“I cherished looking at the star. It gave me such a deep appreciation for how much God has taken care of me, helping me to recover from COVID-19,” Brooks shares.
Chief Brooks has 45 years of experience in law enforcement. Prior to joining the City of Crossville Police team in 2018, he has worked as a Tennessee State Trooper and served as District Captain of Knoxville and Chattanooga regions throughout his time. He holds a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Bethel University.
The Crossville City of Police team includes approximately 40 officers, who have been on the frontline of COVID-19 precautions and protocols. With his diverse background in various communities, Brooks feels Crossville is a unique blessing and a special place to be.
“Not only has my team helped provide excellent service during my absence with COVID-19, but I must say our community as a whole is also exceptional,” Brooks confides. “We have really felt lifted up by everyone with supportive phone calls, letters, and prayers. You don’t just get that anywhere you go. We are so fortunate to be where we are during this pandemic.”
“If you face COVID-19, or any sickness for that matter, do exactly what your doctor recommends. Life is hard enough, regardless of the pandemic, and it can be a very trying. One of the hardest things one can do is find the motivation to push through and preserver through difficulty. I want everyone to know that we are here if there is ever anything our City of Crossville Police team can do to offer support. I treasure being a part of our community.”