LMDC officer battles for life on ventilator, FOP to help family

Richard Longoria, an unvaccinated LMDC corrections officer, is fighting for his life.
Richard Longoria, an unvaccinated LMDC corrections officer, is fighting for his life.(WAVE3 News)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 11:32 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An unvaccinated LMDC corrections officer is fighting for his life.

Richard Longoria has spent 18 years working at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. But for nearly 10 days, Longoria has spent his time in the ICU and on a ventilator, fighting COVID.

More than 4,000 miles away, while stationed in Germany, Air Force 1st Lieutenant Mike Longoria got a message from his brother that read, “911.”

”And then, (my brother) called me right away,” Mike Longoria said. “On Facetime, I could see my dad with an oxygen mask on. There was obviously something happening.”

One of Richard Longoria’s sons saw his funny, hardworking dad, looking defeated. A few days later, he took him to Baptist Health Hardin Hospital, where the corrections officer tested positive for COVID and went straight to the ICU.

”The way the doctor had explained it to us, it’s like climbing a mountain,” Mike Longoria said. “He was climbing down the mountain fast and he caught onto something. And he’s going to start making progress back up, but going back up the mountain is going to be hard.”

Longoria’s condition started out bleak, but then there was a turning point, which proved the patriarch’s moniker to be fitting.

“His nickname in the family is ‘The Rock’ because he’s hard-headed and stubborn,” Longoria said of his father. “It was not surprising when they said he’s still fighting and has a strong heart.”

Longoria said his father’s strong heart and soul that lie behind the badge is why his dad’s phone kept ringing off the hook. Each time he answered, there was someone on the other end with prayers and well-wishes.

”OK, there’s stuff I need to help take care of -- bills -- so nothing happens, and all that stuff,” Longoria said. “Now that the proverbial dust has settled, it’s like, OK, the only thing I need now is for my dad to wake up and come back home. “

The Longoria brothers aren’t able to see their dad in the hospital because of COVID guidelines. But, they’re hopeful each day that their dad gets well enough to take him off the ventilator to continue the recovery process.

Mike Longoria said his dad hadn’t gotten his vaccine yet.

Click here to help fundraising efforts for the Longoria family.

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