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Freeport Police chief recovering from COVID-19

Chief Ray Garivey was on oxygen and spent 5 days at Houston Methodist in Clear Lake.

FREEPORT, Texas — Freeport's popular police chief is usually fighting crime, but right now, he’s fighting COVID-19.

Chief Ray Garivey checked into the hospital at 6 a.m. Saturday after losing his taste. A COVID-19 test confirmed he was positive.

“When I started struggling breathing, that's when I began to panic,” Chief Garivey said. “A niece of mine, who is a nurse, my beautiful wife, they were like you need to go the hospital.”

Chief Garivey was on oxygen and spent 5 days at Houston Methodist in Clear Lake. The 50-year-old knew he needed to be careful.

“I do have diabetes, and that right there plays into some of the steroids they need to give you to get you better,” Chief Garivey said.

He encourages people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I know there’s still some ‘what ifs’ about the vaccine, well, guess what? There are some ‘what ifs’ about COVID!” Chief Garivey said.

Chief Garivey is familiar with hospitals. He championed 7-year-old Abigial Arias as she fought cancer and died in 2019. This time, honorary Officer Abigail stood by him.

“I had my little girl in the hospital with me the whole time,” he said.

The chief has seen a lot on the job. Chief Garivey has been a policeman for 29 years and a husband for 22 of them.

“It was scary when she left me there in that emergency room. We were a little nervous, but I tell you what, I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight when (my wife) came to pick me up,” Chief Garivey said.