RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Randolph County Sheriff Greg Seabolt told FOX8 what put him in the hospital.
He spent 10 days in the ICU after falling off a ladder at his home on Jan. 7. After the fall, he suffered two broken ribs, a punctured lung and an infected large intestine. Now, Seabolt is on the mend with another surgery coming up in about a month.
Seabolt said even though he’s back at work, he’s not the same sheriff he was before he got hurt.
“I had time to think a lot, and I think when I come back and get back into the full swing of things, I’ll be a better person and be a better leader and look at things a little bit differently,” he said.
Seabolt is taking his pain and using it as an inspiration to better serve the citizens of Randolph County.
“I couldn’t move,” he said. “It was just terrible pain. Worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
On Thursday, Seabolt parked his truck in his usual marked spot and walked into the sheriff’s office for the first time in more than a month.
“It’s good to have your members coming up and saying…’I’m glad you’re back,'” he said.
On his desk, there’s a bag stuffed with cards and letters full of well wishes.
“We’re all thrilled to hear you’re on the mend,” one of the notes read. “I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through, not to mention Candace and the family. Prayers have obviously been answered.”
One of the cards was from a detention officer.
“The card was from an officer who sent me $20 and that…brought tears to my eyes, knowing that I’m the highest paid employee, and she’s the lowest paid employee, and she cared enough to send the money,” Seabolt said.
It’s that kindness Seabolt wants to give back to his workers.
“I’m going to be more of a person that gets down to the jail and meet those detention officers. Get to know them,” he said.
He said he also wants to get to know the people he serves.
“I’m going to go out and meet people,” Seabolt said. “I’m going to go out and talk to people. I’m going to go out and see what I can do for the community more so than what I’ve done in the past.”
His new outlook is shaped by the painful experience, which turned out to be a blessing for the sheriff.
“Any time anybody experiences a negative I look at it, as a Christian, it’s a valley,” he said. “God’s preparing for something bigger, and this gives me an opportunity to get back on track with the sheriff’s office and with my family.”
During Seabolt’s next surgery in mid-March, surgeons will re-attach his large intestine. He’s asking for your prayers again. He said they worked last time.
It’ll be a few weeks after that before he’s back to work full-time.