By Allen J. Smith, Media Production Officer for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office
A Bossier Deputy who has fought a long battle with cancer was greeted by Sheriff Julian Whittington and a reception line of 80 cheering, applauding deputies, when he returned to work at the Bossier Maximum Security prison this morning.
Sgt. Barrett Lovell, who works in the Corrections Division of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia with MDS in October 2014 and received multiple chemotherapy treatments and blood transfusions. He also had a stem cell transplant. Today, he said, he’s “in complete remission. I have 100 percent donor marrow, and no traces of cancer are showing.”
Sheriff Whittington said, “We’re so proud of Barrett for being such a fighter, and we’re overjoyed to have him back. As you can see, the Sheriff’s Office family turned out in force this morning, to let Barrett know how we feel about him.”
Lovell said he was overwhelmed by the warm reception “in a good way. I really appreciate the support. It’s great to be back to work. I’m fitting right back into the groove.”
As Lovell walked along the reception line, shaking hands and receiving hugs and pats on the back, he held the hand of a little girl, a fellow cancer patient who had befriended him. Helen Forgey had heard at one point that Lovell was feeling very bad after a rough round of chemotherapy, and didn’t want to get out of bed. Helen told Lovell, via a cell phone video, “Never, ever give up. You’ve got to get out of that bed. Do it for those who love you and those who admire you.” The two have been friends ever since.
Lovell said that if he remains cancer free for another five years, he’ll be considered cured and released.