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Sheriff Webb recovering at home

GATESVILLE – The bad news….Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb suffered a heart attack on Thursday of last week.

The good news….Webb is now recovering at home.

Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, Sheriff Webb survived his medical mishap and, upon full recovery, will return to the job.

“The Sheriff gave us all one big scare and I’m sure it scared him as well,” said Gates County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Billy Spruill.

Spruill said Sheriff Webb was working in the office on Thursday afternoon when he developed chest pains. Gates County Rescue was summoned and the Sheriff was first taken to Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Va. before being transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. There, a surgical procedure was performed Friday afternoon to place a stent in the Sheriff’s ailing heart.

A stent is a wire metal mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty, according to the americanheart.org website. The stent is collapsed to a small diameter and put over a balloon catheter. It’s then moved into the area of the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands, locks in place and forms a scaffold. This holds the artery open. The stent stays in the artery permanently, holds it open, improves blood flow to the heart muscle and relieves symptoms (usually chest pain). Within a few weeks of the time the stent was placed, the inside lining of the artery (the endothelium) grows over the metal surface of the stent.

Sheriff Webb was released Sunday from the hospital.

“I talked with Ed later on Sunday and from all indications, he seems to be doing okay,” Spruill said.

As the ranking officer, Chief Deputy Spruill will handle the day-to-day operations of the Gates County Sheriff’s Office.

“Someone told me on Friday that I was now the Sheriff,” Spruill said. “That’s not the case. I was the Chief Deputy before Ed had his heart attack and I’m still the Chief Deputy now. Ed Webb remains the Sheriff of Gates County. I’m just minding the store until he returns.”

The news of Webb’s medical condition traveled fast within the law enforcement ranks.

“I found out about it on Friday morning,” Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said. “I’ve known Ed for many years…we go way back, back to when he was with the Ahoskie Police Department. If I know Ed like I know Ed, he’ll be back just as soon as his doctor signs the release papers. He loves his job and he cares for the safety of the people in Gates County.”