Sheriff being treated for Parkinson's disease
by CHRIS NORWOOD
TALLADEGA COUNTY – Alabama’s longest serving sheriff has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard is currently being treated for his condition at Coosa Valley Medical Center in Sylacauga.

“Sheriff Studdard was recently admitted to the hospital due to worsening symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” a press release from the family said. “According to his physician, his medication regimen needed to be carefully evaluated to see what medications and dosages were needed to achieve maximum relief from the Parkinson’s symptoms. Although Parkinson’s cannot be cured, there are specific medications and combinations of medications that can markedly improve the symptoms, and we are in the midst of those efforts now.

“Because Parkinson’s is a disease of the nervous system that affects movement, it was also recommended that the sheriff undergo in-patient physical therapy to regain lost strength. At this time, there is no definite time table to as to how long he will remain in the hospital, considering it is a day to day evaluation of his overall health and well-being.”

The release, written by Studdard’s step-son Chad Woodruff, goes on to say, “There has been and remains a constant line of communication with his long-time chief deputy, Jimmy Kilgore.”

Kilgore confirmed this.

“We’re going to be staying in contact, making sure we keep him apprised of everything that’s going on. But there will not be any notable change in day-to-day operations. When Sheriff Studdard appointed me chief deputy, I was charged with the responsibility for all the day-to-day operations, and that will continue. I want everyone to rest assured that the operations of the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office will continue, and we will be keeping the sheriff in the loop.”

Kilgore said he had visited Studdard in the hospital recently. “He looked good, and he was in good spirits, so hopefully he’s on the road to the right treatment, and to getting better.”

In his release, Woodruff said, “The Studdard family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation for the many prayers, phone calls and well wishes, and asks for your continued prayers and support. The sheriff and his family will address any other health updates as deemed necessary.”

Studdard was first elected sheriff of Talladega County in 1978, and is currently serving his ninth consecutive term in office.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

© 2012