Sign in Chevron that denotes content that can open up. Create account Chevron that denotes content that can open up.Need exclusive stories only we can tell? Subscribe to MassLive.com.
Norton Det. Sgt. Stephen Desfosses sedated after hospitalization for COVID, pneumonia and flu; GoFundMe raises $20,000-plus for officer Several weeks ago, Det. Sgt. Stephen Desfosses, a 30-plus-year veteran of the Norton Police Department, was diagnosed with a triple threat of illnesses: influenza A, pneumonia and COVID-19. After battling the slew of sicknesses at home for two weeks and increasingly struggling every day just to breathe, the detective sergeant was taken to a local emergency room. There, medical professionals immediately recognized he was in critical condition.He was swiftly taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he remained Wednesday, fighting an invisible enemy that continues to ravage his lungs.“Having known and worked with Steve for over 20 years, you can’t ask for a better police officer, community member or father,” Mansfield Police Chief Ronald Sellon said in a tweet Tuesday.Please consider donating. Having known and worked with Steve for over 20 years you can’t ask for a better police officer, community member or father. Thoughts are with our partners in @NortonMaPolice & @ChiefClark81 https://t.co/BcEZSmLLB1— Chief Ronald Sellon (@RASellon) December 30, 2020
Norton Police Chief Brian Clark took to Twitter last week to wish a merry Christmas and say the department was “especially thinking” of Desfosses during his battle with COVID-19.According to The Sun Chronicle, Desfosses was one of roughly half a dozen Norton police officers who tested positive in December for coronavirus, which has posed a significant danger to first responders and others on the frontlines of the pandemic.“December has not been kind to us,” Clark told the newspaper. “It’s just so contagious.”Merry Christmas everyone!
This day we are especially thinking of one of our officers @NortonMaPolice who is battling Covid in a Boston Hospital.— Brian Clark (@ChiefClark81) December 25, 2020
Initial tests at the hospital earlier this month revealed Desfosses had blood clots in his lungs, legs and abdomen, according to a GoFundMe page that has raised close to $22,000 for the detective sergeant and his family.More worrisome, he has been completely unable to maintain adequate oxygen saturation on his own, said Jeffa Lombardi, the organizer of the fundraiser.Desfosses has been in the intensive care unit of the hospital for more than a week now. Along with receiving oxygen via medical equipment, he has also been taking multiple steroids and heparin, a drug used to combat blood clots, according to the GoFundMe page.The clots are of minimal concern, as they are not interfering with blood flow to his organs, Lombardi noted. The more pressing issue is his inability to breathe on his own.“What remains to be seen is whether there is long term or irreversible damage to the lung tissue. There is the potential for the lung tissue to become necrotic and never recover,” Lombardi wrote. “Of course, the hope is that with the treatment from his amazing medical staff, he can eventually return to some level or normal breathing ability.”“No matter what, this process will take months,” she added.On Tuesday, more drastic measures were taken to help the detective sergeant heal. Per the advice of his medical team, he was sedated and intubated, according to Jessica Desfosses, the officer’s wife.“We were able to discuss this option and speak before he went under,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. “His lungs are not healing, and his body cannot fight any longer without risking further complications.”The detective sergeant was “extremely scared” to go under, according to his wife. However, she said there is some relief knowing he will not have to experience the struggle and anxiety of his medical condition day in and day out.“I will not be posting regular updates, as there is not likely to be any significant change for a bit,” she said. “Hoping that within the next few weeks his lungs can actually begin to heal.”According to Lombardi, Stephen Desfosses’s main concern, aside from eventually returning home, is making sure his wife and two daughters, 11-year-old Addison and 8-year-old Ella, are taken care of.“Steve has been caring for his community for over 30 years as a highly respected police officer, and he and his family are incredibly grateful for the amazing outpouring of support during this devastating time,” Lombardi wrote.