Springfield police officer fights to recover from COVID-19

The Clark County first responder community put together ’Light the Night for Chris Armstrong’ to show their support.

Springfield police officer fights to recover from COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield Police Division Officer and union president of the division is battling COVID-19.

Chris Armstrong, a 22-year officer, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-August, said his wife, Melissa. He was also diagnosed with pneumonia in his lungs.

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Melissa also tested positive for COVID-19, but she said she fully recovered and never had to go to the hospital.

Chris, however, experienced different symptoms from her including exhaustion and a cough. His symptoms worsened.

“On Tuesday of last week, he developed severe shortness of breath, turned blue and was unable to talk, and his oxygen levels were in the 70s,” said Melissa.

Melissa and Chris Armstrong
Melissa and Chris Armstrong

Chris was taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center in critical condition a little more than a week ago after experiencing symptoms for three weeks.

He has since transferred to the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, where he is showing signs of recovery.

“I think that’s what really shocked us the most is when you got this sick, how long it took to recover,” Melissa said.

Melissa and their two sons have not been able to see Chris since last Tuesday.

“We’ve been together 29 years, and it’s the longest we’ve been apart,” Melissa said.

The Armstrong family did however receive a special surprise from the Clark County first responder community on Sunday.

“That was the first day Chris had been out of bed in six days since he had been there,” said Melissa.

Chris Armstrong with his two sons
Chris Armstrong with his two sons

Dozens of first responders took their police cruisers and fire engine ladders to the hospital and turned on their lights for ’Light the Night for Chris Armstrong’ to show Chris that they’re supporting him.

Chris was able to watch from his hospital window, Melissa said.

“It just meant the world to him and all of us that were able to participate,” Melissa said. “Just to see how much support he had. I called him on the phone when we did the “Night of Lights,” and he was crying so hard he couldn’t talk to us.”

Melissa said she was able to return to normal activities last Thursday.

“It’s really out there. It’s not just something that’s made up,” she said

It’s possible Chris can come home this weekend, Melissa said.