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Officers Joseph Jones, left, and Jason Thompson pose for a photo in early September while setting up road blocks for the Historic Morganton Festival.

A Morganton police officer who suffered a stroke while on duty in October is on the road to recovery.

Officer Joseph Jones with the Morganton Department of Public Safety suffered a stroke while making an arrest Oct. 17, according to a previous News Herald article.

He was transported to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill and put in the neuro-intensive-care unit, the article said.

A GoFundMe page set up by his mother, Lynn Pittman, aims to help with Jones’ medical expenses and everyday needs. The page said that while Jones has made “amazing progress,” recovery is a process he will have to take one day at a time.

The fundraiser description said Jones is 31 and has three small children ranging in age from 5 to 9. The stroke impacted the part of his brain that controls balance, and he could be out of work for six months or so while he goes through physical rehabilitation.

Pittman said in the description that it was hard to see her son going through something like this.

“I am his Mother and its (sic) so hard to watch your strong, loving and caring son feel as though he’s going to let his family down by not being able to work,” Pittman wrote in the description.

“He is improving, but it is a long road to recovery for him,” said Maj. Ryan Lander with the Morganton Department of Public Safety.

The stroke was unexpected.

“Something like this, you don’t expect to happen,” Lander said. “Especially with someone as young as he is.”

A health crisis like Jones’ can remind people everything they have to be thankful for, Lander said.

“It just makes you really appreciate life and I know that Joseph and his family are blessed and very appreciative that he’s still here to be with them,” Lander said. “And his Public Safety family, as well, is very blessed and happy that he’s still here, that he’s still a part of our family.”

Jones has the support of his MDPS family and several others in the community, as evidenced by a barbecue fundraiser held Nov. 8 and a gun raffle through Smokefoot Trade and Loan, Lander said.

“We raised approximately $4,000 for him through that, which will help with his medical bills,” Lander said.

Pittman asked for prayers for her son’s recovery in the fundraiser description.

“Prayers are most appreciated and if you feel led to donate to help with his medical and every day (sic) needs until he can get back on his feet that would be such a blessing to him and his little Family,” the description said.

Visit https://bit.ly/2Xkvc0e for more information or to donate to the GoFundMe for Jones.

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Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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