TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas deputy is back on the job after she recovered from complications from an illness that left her temporarily paralyzed.
However, it’s the journey back that her fellow law enforcement officers are talking about.
Gregg County Deputy Kristan Beltran continues her duties at the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, duties that for a while looked like she’d never return to.
“I got flu-B, and then it turned into a rare complication, which is one in 2 million,” Kristan said. “Within about three days, I couldn’t walk and got put in the hospital.”
Working as a jailer at the time, she attended the police academy last August. That’s when she got sick. Extremely sick.
“And then I lost function from the waist down almost completely. I was paralyzed on the left side. Then it turned to the right side,” Kristan said.
She was paralyzed for three weeks. It’s what happened during that time that brought her back.
“Doctors said that I would probably be paralyzed from 6 months to 2 years,” Kristan said. “I was crushed inside. It took about 30 minutes to drag myself out of bed and say that’s not happening.”
With medical assistance at first, she willed herself to get up and walk, even continuing her police academy studies in the hospital.
“I studied while I was in the hospital. I made up all of those hours and work while going to the academy,” she said.
Her grit is recognized by her fellow officers.
“I think Deputy Beltran represents what every department would want. That kind of integrity is hard to find these days,”said Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Captain Craig Harrington.
“I love what I do. We have a purpose, and not giving up is one those, and being there for other people is one,” Kristen said. “There’s people that have way worse going on. What happened to me was very minimal compared to what could have happened,” Kristan said.
Kristan graduated from what sheriffs call the “COVID class” and has now advanced to the position of jail supervisor at the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office.