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Arkansas lieutenant escorted home after hospitalized with COVID-19

Deputy Lt. Kaylon McDaniel with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was admitted to a local hospital in July for COVID-19 and stayed for 116 days.

PINE BLUFF, Ark — If you were on the road between Little Rock and Pine Bluff Thursday, you might have seen a slew of patrol cars with flashing lights. 

Thankfully, not for an emergency. 

Instead, it was a tribute for a fellow man in uniform. 

31-year old Deputy Lt. Kaylon McDaniel with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was admitted into a local hospital July 10 for COVID. He'd stay for 116 days— most of the time spent on a ventilator. 

"Today we're celebrating him being released from the hospital and being brought home. We can't say enough about his release now and the long road to recovery," said Jefferson County Sheriff, Lafayette Woods.

He was discharged Thursday morning in Little Rock, and it was on a stretch of highway that his fellow men and women in uniform waited to escort him back home to Pine Bluff.

Sirens could be heard from a total of 53 cars from the sheriff's office, along with neighboring departments. 

"Lt. Daniel is truly a testament to the effects of COVID and obviously given the right circumstances, prayers, faith and also, more importantly, a tremendous medical staff that provided the necessary treatment that he needed to be able to come home," said Sheriff Woods. 

Police cars circled the cul-de-sac near his home. 

One car played "Bad Boys," the theme song for the show Cops.

McDaniel, dawning a mask, waved, hugged, and shook hands with different officers who walked up the driveway. 

No one feels the type of joy for his return like his parents, Thomas McDaniel and Marionette Crosby. 

"I remember I got a phone call from him. He told me, 'Dad, I'm going to the hospital and I think they're going to admit me.' I told him, 'well, if they admit you, call me and we'll be on our way.' We live in Fort Worth Texas. We don't live here," said Thomas McDaniel, Kaylon's father. 

Crosby says her son's health only got worse with each passing day. 

At times they had to be behind glass to see him.

It's a miracle that he woke up weeks ago. 

"The first thing he said was a cuss word," Crosby said, "But then the next thing was that he was hungry."

Crosby says she can't thank the departments enough for showing her son love the way they have. McDaniel wasn't vaccinated when he contracted COVID.

Even with a breathing machine and walker, everyone is just appreciative that McDaniel is still here.

"For those who think that it's not real. For us, it hit home with Kaylon," said Sheriff Woods.

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