The family of Deborah Marshall is praying for a full recovery after Columbia County’s elections director underwent emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Marshall, 48, has been hospitalized since checking into the emergency room of Trinity Hospital on April 6 with a severe headache, said her husband, Lee Marshall.
A scan at Trinity found a large tumor on the upper left portion of her brain, and Marshall immediately was transferred to Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center.
She underwent surgery to remove the tumor April 9, and since has been in a medically induced coma during recovery, her husband said. Doctors are expected to begin the slow process of waking her up this week, and have expressed confidence in her recovery, Marshall said.
“We just praise the Lord that everything can stay normal,” Marshall said. “She’s a fighter. God will bring us through this.”
Though she has been allowed only very limited visitation, family, friends and fellow members of First Mt. Carmel Baptist Church have been camped out at the hospital since the surgery, including Marshall’s husband, son and two daughters.
Marshall, a lifelong Appling resident, has been an elections staffer since 1984, and was appointed executive director of the Board of Elections in 2000.
The chairman of the county commission at the time, former state Sen. Jim Whitehead, said Marshall “is one of the most beloved people in this county.”
County employees have kept up with Marshall’s progress through family members and via messages from coworkers, said Columbia County Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker.
“She’s a ray of sunshine in everyone’s lives,” Tucker said.
Other elections staffers are handling Marshall’s duties in her absence, said Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson.