DEER RIVER, Minn. — A northern Minnesota sheriff’s deputy has died of complications from COVID-19, the sheriff’s office and family said.
Itasca County Deputy Jayme Williams, 41, of Deer River, died Monday after contracting COVID earlier this month and spending almost two weeks in the hospital.
“Deputy Williams will always be remembered for his kind and fair approach to the community he served as a law enforcement officer,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “We mourn his passing and send our deepest condolences to his family and partners in law enforcement during this difficult time.”
According to a GoFundMe fundraising page organized by the family, Williams became sick with COVID on Dec. 11. He was brought to the emergency room in Deer River on Dec. 15 and transferred to an intensive care unit in Virginia the next day.
During that time, he developed pneumonia, was on respiratory support and given a “cocktail of different medications.”
“We thought he was possibly on the up and up as they were slowly reducing his oxygen to see what he could handle on his own,” the GoFundMe page said. “Jayme started complaining of terrible stomach pain on Dec. 26th, he ended up having an MRI. The MRI indicated Jayme had a laceration on his liver and was bleeding internally. He needed surgery.”
The liver laceration was possibly a result of violent coughing or an inserted needle.
On Dec. 27, he went into surgery but suffered cardiac arrest and his lungs filled with blood, the family wrote.
Neither the family nor the sheriff’s office indicated Williams’ vaccination status.
He is survived by his wife, Dusty, and three children, ages 12-17.
His funeral will be held Friday at the Marcell Family Center (Community Center) in Marcell, Minn. Visitation is at 10 a.m. and the funeral is at 11 a.m.
In a Facebook post Monday, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 unit asked followers to donate to the family’s GoFundMe, and in a separate post, called Williams by his nickname, “Rooster.”
“Rest easy now, Rooster,” they wrote. “We’ll take it from here.”