Columbia County elections chief hospitalized

Deborah Marshall

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 Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

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,” he said. “She’s a fighter. God is going to bring us through this.”

Though she has been allowed only very limited visitation, Marshall’s husband, son and two daughters; family; friends; and fellow members of First Mount Carmel Baptist Church have been camped out at the hospital since the surgery.

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 Columbia 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 messages from other board of elections staffers, said Pam Tucker, the director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations.

“She’s a ray of sunshine in everyone’s lives,” Tucker said.

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