SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — Patrol Sgt. Robert Stoffle offered thanks to the Sevier County community Wednesday two months after his battle with COVID-19 began. The Sheriff’s Office deputy was released in November saying that he was given a “second chance.”

Stoffle he’s already taken advantage of that second chance and has made plans to return to his job.

“I got to be home for Christmas,” he said. “I’ll be here for New Year’s and hopefully get back to work about February and just go from there.

“That’s my goal is February. … I don’t know what the doctor will say but that’s my goal, and I’ve been making pretty good progress so we’ll see what happens from there.”

Since returning home the 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office has been learning to walk again with the help of a walker. He still goes to physical therapy three days a week and doctor’s appointments on top of that.

“You can’t thank everybody so that’s why I wrote, ‘Thank you Sevier County on my (social media) post,” Stoffle said. “It’s just an unfortunate thing that happened.”