Doctors give wounded officer days to live after lung collapses
Doctors say a Mahnomen (Minn.) County sheriff's deputy shot in the line of duty 17 months ago has two to seven days to live, his uncle Eric Dewey said Thursday evening.
Chris Dewey was placed under hospice care Thursday morning after his lung collapsed and began putting pressure on his heart, Eric Dewey said.
"He took a turn for the worse," Eric Dewey said.
Dewey is living in an assisted living facility near wife Emily's parents in Cambridge, Minn., and has undergone extensive rehabilitation care, spending several months earlier this year in a Colorado facility.
Dewey was shot once in the head and twice in the stomach in February 2009 while responding with his partner to reports of a drunken driver and shots fired in Mahnomen.
Thomas Lee Fairbanks faces numerous charges in the crime, including attempted murder.
Daniel Kurt Vernier was sentenced in September to two years in prison for his role as an accomplice in the shooting.
Dewey was temporarily re-hospitalized the first weekend in July because of an infection, according to a post by his wife on his Caringbridge website.
"I won't deny being very weary at times," Emily wrote in a July 9 Caringbridge post. "This has been an incredibly trying time in so many ways: emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically, and psychologically. I pray for the Lord to give me peace, patience, and perseverance as I do my best to provide Chris with the care he needs and deserves."
Following the infection, doctors were giving Dewey Botox shots for pain, and one of the injections pierced his lung, causing it to collapse, said Eric Dewey, who was organizing an Aug. 28 benefit on Thursday morning when he got the call about Chris' condition.
Dewey, who was left unable to speak because of his injuries, was responsive Thursday evening, making eye contact and squeezing visitors' hands, Eric Dewey said.
Mahnomen County Sheriff Doug Krier visited Dewey on Thursday, Eric Dewey said.
Wife Emily is coping with the latest news as she always does, Eric Dewey said.
"She's hanging in there," he said. "That's her man."
"We all still have hope," the uncle said, "but it is what it is."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511