A Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputy who suffered a major stroke at the age of 43, is slowly recovering.
Dan McSkimming has been with the sheriff’s department for 16 years and his fellow law enforcement officers are rallying behind him.
Before the accident, he was an outgoing husband and father. He took hikes with his family, went to the beach and too his young daughter on horseback rides.
In August, a seemingly small but painful injury to his neck while on patrol, caused a major problem.
“I couldn’t believe it. It made no sense to me how a guy in shape like that for something like that could happen,” said Sgt. Brian Thielst.
A blood clot formed in the back of McSkimming’s neck and when it broke loose, he suffered a stroke.
Thielst and Senior Deputy Doug Jones work with McSkimming on the SWAT team. Now they are missing a member of the team while he recovers.
“He’s not going to give up, we know he’s not going to give up and he’s fighting every day and now he’s reached these pinnacles where he’s progressing in a rehab facility and he’s going to continue to fight and recovery. It sends a chill down my back,” said Jones.
Staci McSkimming is keeping a positive outlook not only for her husband of 12 years, but their two children.
“He’s alive, very much alive. I think that’s a gift in itself because some people don’t come out as well. I think he’s going to come back and I think he’s going to be just fine and our lives are going to be even better,” she said with a smile.
Staci stopped working so she could be with her husband.
To lighten the finanical burden, the Special Enforcement Team Foundation has collected donations. More than $30,000 was raised in just 13 days on the GoFundMe webpage.
“It’s overwhelming. I just can’t believe that people want to help us. I feel like, why us? I want to pay it forward. It’s amazing,” Staci said.
Although he can’t speak to her, Staci said Dan listens and communicates.
“We found our ways. Hand squeezes, eye blinks, we found our ways,” Staci said.
For more information on how to donate to the McSkimmings, click here.