Fire chief, councilman in intensive care
Two prominent city officials are in area hospitals fighting for their lives.
Thomasville fire chief Martin Dailey and City Councilman Scott Styers are in the intensive care units at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center and Forsyth County Medical Center, respectively. Dailey, 52, underwent a pair of surgeries to his abdomen and slowly is recovering at TMC following a blood transfusion. Styers is suffering from double pneumonia and on a ventilator in Winston-Salem after coming down with the flu earlier this month.
“We are all family here and that's first and foremost,” City Manager Kelly Craver. “Needless to say, there have been a lot of sleepless nights lately. In situations like this a family comes together and we do what has to be done.”
Dailey's condition worsened after a Jan. 7 surgery on his colon. According to Craver, who receives constant updates on both men from family members, doctors over the weekend discovered a problem in Dailey's stomach and rushed him into emergency surgery. Thomasville firefighters and family members held vigil at TMC on Monday and Tuesday as Dailey's condition stabilized.
“[Dailey] had a scheduled surgery and while he was in the hospital, a second condition came about,” Craver said. “His condition is serious. He is in a critical situation at this point in time. The immediate days following the surgery are most critical. It is our hopes that he will get through these critical days and begin his recovery process. There are no guarantees right now. We have some grave concerns.”
Craver said Don Crafford is Thomasville Fire Department's acting chief while Dailey is out.
“I met with Don and he assured business is going on as usual,” said Craver. “Everything is going on as normal and they certainly will band together to make sure everything is taken care of as if Marty was there.”
Councilman Neal Grimes said Styers, 61, came down with the flu a couple of weeks ago and was admitted to TMC for pneumonia. Styers' condition worsened, however, and he was transported to the ICU at Forsyth County Medical Center. Grimes said on Wednesday that Styers was heavily sedated and on a ventilator.
“[Styers] had the flu around Christmas and really had a hard time shaking it,” Grimes said. “About a week ago he was transferred to Forsyth, to their critical care, with double pneumonia and they're treating it like a viral infection. His fever a days ago spiked to 103 and his blood pressure was all wacky. [Councilwoman] Pat Shelton went to see him and [Styers' wife] Paige on Monday and came back and reported that he was real sick. The family has relayed to us that they foresee a long recovery process for him.”
Dailey are Styers aren't the only two city officials on the mend.
Councilman Ronald Bratton is recovering from triple bypass surgery in December and hopes to be at Tuesday night's monthly council meeting. Bratton also spent time in the hospital this month for a bleeding ulcer. Councilman Raleigh York did not attend Monday's council briefing due to a sinus infection.
Thomasville Police chief Jeff Insley recently returned to work following surgery for an injured rotator cuff and torn biceps muscle.
“We certainly feel like we've had an over abundance in our organization,” said Craver. “We're in an organization of 270 people and have had a number of folks in critical positions that have sustained serious injuries or illnesses.”
Only four council members attended Monday night's briefing. Grimes said four is a majority and allowed council to approve Tuesday's agenda.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.