NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Harvey County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Van Horn has been struggling for his life in a McPherson hospital.

“He’s shown some improvement. He waved out the window at us,” said Jeff’s wife, Nicky.

Nicky was nearly confident that she was planning a funeral just days earlier.

“Asked us to call his chaplain,” said Nicky. “And I thought I was watching my husband die.”

Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay says Jeff and Nicky are getting a lot of prayers.

(Courtesy: Van Horn Family)

Friends, family and even strangers have gathered outside his hospital window in McPherson.

“I’m extremely optimistic that Jeff is going to make it through this. I mean he’s a fighter. He’s a tough guy,” said Gay. “And I think that positive attitude, lots of positive attitudes around him Jeff is going to make it through this.”

Nicky says it’s been a roller coaster. Jeff has been battling to get enough oxygen. He has pneumonia. But, Nicky says faith can be a strength to get through the dark times.

“We did not expect that COVID would take him down like this. He is a big, burly beast of a man, and he’s known for that. So to see him taken down like this was a shock,” said Nicky. “I’m very much a realist. There’s just been too many miracles over and over and over again, strung together that I can not deny the hand of God.”

Nicky says Jeff improved at one point. Then things got worse.

“Sometimes, I just don’t know what to think,” said Nicky. “But the last couple of days have been boring for Jeff. He wants to come home and has even said he’s been bored. That’s a really good sign.

There is a GoFundMe for Jeff and Nicky to help with expenses

Nicky gives a lot of credit to doctors and nurses.

“They’ve been like family, and that’s just been so, so helpful,” said Nicky.

Meanwhile, Gay says that while Jeff struggles, they all remain hopeful.

“Just keep fighting. We’re here for him,” said Gay.