Community rallies behind deputy sheriff battling leukemia

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - James Keeton has served his communities in some capacity for nearly three decades, from his time in the military to his days in law enforcement.

With several commendations and awards under his belt, Keeton now dedicates his days to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office where he works as a deputy. But, with all of the help he has provided to people in need, he is now in need of a little help himself.

Keeton was admitted into the hospital this week, diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. He went to University of Kentucky’s hospital for “aggressive treatment,” with his wife by his side. Now, she continues to update the community on his condition, encouraging them to remember James in their prayers and continue to lift him up.

“I’ve not heard anybody say anything bad about Deputy Keeton. He’s a good guy,” said Deputy Tim Clark. “And he’s worked here at Johnson County for about two years now, doing general patrol and stuff. While at West liberty, he had numerous awards and commendation. A good officer. Good all-around officer.”

They said he is a part of the family and they want to see him healthy.

“We need you back. We want you back in our county,” said Clark. “We want you working with us. Come back as soon as you can, and get to feeling good; we definitely need you.”

His fellow deputies say they are in his corner, praying and planning for the day he is back on patrol.

“Anything he needs, he should know that we are supporting him 100%. We’re pulling for him. We’re praying for him,” said Deputy Adam Williams. “Hang in there, you know, trust in God. Do your best to get back to work, man.”

His wife posted an update Wednesday, saying she hopes everyone will continue to share Keeton’s story and pray for them. She said “James is a fighter,” adding that he has been speaking and has improved drastically.

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