Edmund, SC (Paul Kirby) – For Brittany Hall, wife of Lexington County Sheriff K-9 handler Roy Hall, the outpouring of blessings from so many has been overwhelming. She’s seen tremendous support from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, other county employees, complete strangers, family and friends. She’s so thankful for Serve & Connect, an organization founded by the wife of an officer killed in the line of duty, who has been right there with her. Mostly, without sounding preachy in any fashion, she thanks God who’s orchestrated this amazing love.
Brittany is a petite woman. Don’t let her size fool you. Inside, she’s a fighter, a fixer, and more. Brittany says the day she got a call from a deputy who’s a friend of her husband’s saying Roy had been in a wreck, she felt it was no big deal. A deputy came to take her to the hospital, and he was calm, so it had to be no big deal. Only when Sheriff Koon walked in the Emergency Room did she realized this might be a big deal.
She says she’ll never forget when they first took her back to see Roy and she heard him scream, “bloody murder!” This was her big, strapping husband of 18 years. She says he wasn’t really bloody, but he was swollen; still that scream. She realized right then it had to be a very big deal! Roy’s pelvis was smashed, the long bone in his thigh driven into his belly. He was bleeding inside, and that’s what almost took him from her. There were other injuries too.
Roy spent 11 days in the hospital before being moved to a rehab facility. He finally got home in July but was quickly readmitted. “We’ve had two days at home since this began,” Brittany said. Still, she seems strong. She admits this has been physically grueling on her too. Throughout the ordeal, the outpouring of love and support has been amazing according to Brittany. Her mother took the couple’s four children to her Chapin home while Brittany camped out in the ICU. Her stepmom washed their clothes. Deputies and employees from Building Inspections and Permits built a wheelchair ramp. People brought food. Zorba’s in Chapin donated meals and later gave a gift card. When they tried to use the card, they were told to put it away, it was free. Brittany says through this all, Roy’s law enforcement brothers were there.
“I’m a fixer,” Brittany said during our interview at her home. "This was something I couldn't fix." She said what was difficult was to see her husband suffer. She had to, “sit back and watch him struggle and hurt.” Even as he heals, her husband calls her the few times she leaves his side. “He has a great deal of anxiety,” she said. “When I do leave, he’s scared I’ve been in an accident. He maps out where I’m going and how long it takes in his head. If it takes moments longer than he thinks it should, he calls.”
Brittany says that she doesn’t want her children to feel neglected but feels remorse when she has to leave Roy’s side. “My mom’s tried to keep them on their regular schedule. Still, I feel pulled in two directions at times,” Brittany said. A stay at home mom, Brittany says that the children are now in daycare for the first time, but her mom is getting them there and back. Once, when the children saw Roy, his 8 year old daughter asked, “Daddy, are you coming home, are you going to die?” To Brittany, that tears her heart apart as it would most moms.
“So many people have sent money, or cards of encouragement. When deputies stop by and see Roy, it lifts his spirit and takes his mind off the situation,” Brittany said. “We had hoped he’d be home by now, but it hasn’t turned out that way.” Still Roy, an avid outdoorsman who called tracking with his K-9, “chasing a dog’s tail,” is fighting to get back to some normalcy. He won’t let Brittany get a handicapped placard for the car as a doctor prescribed. He’s told her he’s not handicapped; they’ll park in a regular space. “He fears he’ll never be able to go back to work, There’ll always be some aspect of pain he will have to live with. He’s got more bolts and screws than Lowes or Home Depot,” she quipped with a smile. “Roy’s just a good old country boy who likes to deer hunt and run hogs with his pack of dogs.” Brittany continued.
When asked about the driver of the car who hit her husband that is charged with felony DUI, Brittany said, “I forgive him. He’s changed our lives forever, it will never be the same, but I can’t sit here and say I hate him because I don’t. I’m angry and hurt, but I do know this is going to make our relationship even stronger.”
Roy’s K-9 Bodi has been to see him once, compliments of the Sheriff’s Department. “They both were so happy. Bodi tried to climb up in Roy’s lap. He gives you hugs in a dog’s way and he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t do that,” she explained.
For her part, Brittany seems to see the silver lining in this dark cloud. “Medical miracles still happen. We’re in a rough time but everything happens for a reason. It’s up to us to look for that reason,” She continued. “Maybe God has another plan for Roy, a bigger better story for him to tell.”
When asked what she needs now, Brittany says prayers and continued financial help would be appreciated. Because they don’t know how Roy will be physically, she can’t say if the house will need modifications to accommodate her husband. “I just want to make sure that we have a house when he does get to finally come home to stay.” Roy is burning his unused sick and vacation days now, but when that’s gone, he’ll only get Worker’s Compensation, less than he made working. That doesn’t include missing pay for extra duty he always. She also made some money tending horses at a stable. “That was my me time,” Brittany said. “It was more like therapy for me.” Even the stable’s owner has told her not to worry. “She’s said I’ll have my therapy job waiting when I come back.”
Serve & Connect, an organization run by a law enforcement widow, was founded to assist spouses of officers killed in the line of duty. Later, they realized there was a need, so they offered support to the spouses of officers critically injured while serving. They are the organization assisting the Halls. Kassy Alia Ray, its founder, said if people want to help, please send money. “Some of the medication he’ll need is very expensive. Insurance doesn't cover everything. With monetary donations, the money can be spent where it’s needed,” Ray said. You can send support to the Halls by going to Serve & Connect's website at www.serveandconnect.net. Click the menu bars and DONATE. There’s a tab to designate your gift to the Halls. To donate by check, mail to:
Serve and Connect
PO Box 6840
Columbia, SC 29260