Dooly County deputy faces long recovery time

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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By Neil B. McGahee

Managing Editor

David Musselwhite, the Dooly County Deputy Sheriff who suffered second and third degree burns over 50 percent of his upper body, had a ventilator inserted today to allow him to breathe easier during surgeries.

According to Michelle Smith, Musselwhite’s oldest daughter, physicians at the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta finished the first round of debridement — the removal of dead, damaged or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue — despite a touch of pneumonia, they believe he had developed prior to the accident.

“He had the first debridement today,” she said. “And he will have to have several more. He is sedated and on a ventilator and it looks like it will take months for him to recover.”

Musselwhite was burning brush on his land in Thomas County, when apparently the accelerant he was using ignited. He was rushed to a local hospital, then transferred to the burn center where he is in stable condition.

Musselwhite served as an officer in the Vienna Police Dept. before joining the Sheriff’s Office, where he primarily patrolled the city of Unadilla after the city dissolved its police department in favor of Sheriff’s patrols.