CORDELE, Ga. (WALB) - Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock lost his wife to health issues, according to a Facebook post Thursday night.
The sheriff previously shared on social media that his wife, Mary Ellen, was initially taken to the hospital for bronchitis and tested negative for COVID-19 three times. He then described that her condition turned into pneumonia, followed by atrial fibrillation, and then “spiraled into a series of life-threatening conditions.”
At that time, she was in critical condition at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Because of the hospital’s COVID-19 policies, Hancock was not allowed to be with his wife as her condition worsened.
“As you can imagine this makes getting updates and information regarding her treatment plan and her condition incredibly difficult and incredibly frustrating,” explained Hancock on Facebook.
The sheriff asked for prayers but already knew so many were sending their love and support from the community he has supported for so long.
“We are blessed to live in Crisp County where people pray for the ones they love, and I believe in the power of those prayers,” Hancock expressed on social media.
He offered to share updates as they came in, and even when there weren’t any changes to Mary Ellen’s condition, he kept everyone up-to-date on Facebook.
Even when it turned into the worst news.
“It is with the most profound sorrow that I share with all of you the death of my wife, Mary Ellen. As you all know, the past few weeks have been harsh. Earlier this month, I wrote that Mary Ellen was in critical condition at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. COVID-19 restrictions made a tough situation even more difficult. In both of my updates, I asked for prayers. I can attest that all your prayers were felt,” Hancock posted Thursday.
He also thanked everyone for the outpouring of love for him and his wife in this difficult time.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank every one of you for your kindness, sympathy, and understanding,” the sheriff said.
Because of the pandemic, Hancock also explained that he and his family have decided to hold a private service for Mary Ellen.