Deputy Sheriff's brain surgery recovery

Published: Aug. 19, 2016 at 10:18 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2016 at 11:34 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Deputy is eager to get back on the job after three months at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston and grueling therapy sessions.

The effects of childhood cancer caught up with Sean Doyle almost 40 years later, long after he thought that battle was over.

Doyle has worked for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office for 30 years, moving up the ranks to sergeant with his canine partner, a role he loved until he just could not do it anymore.

"My health," he said.

Doyle's health forced him to shift into a less physically demanding role, with fleet maintenance.

It started with vision changes and severe headaches four years ago, due to benign meningiomas - aggressive tumors in Doyle's brain.

"I knew I'd get past it, I'd already been through one that was worse.  But I never thought I'd have another one after that," he said.

When Sean and Alyson Doyle married 15 years ago, Alyson says she knew his childhood cancer story.  He had a cancerous brain tumor removed, cobalt treatments to follow, and that is where it ended.

"He had never had any problems, he never really had any issues," she said.

Over the past six years, Sean has had more non-cancerous brain tumors removed, but it was his surgery in May that led to three months at Tirr Memorial Hermann in Houston, undergoing intensive rehabilitation.

"The surgeon went ahead and removed all three tumors at the same time and that's really what has caused him to be in a wheelchair now," said Alyson.

Doyle has had to relearn how to talk, swallow, and is learning to move his arms and legs again.  He says losing his independence has been tough.

"It's okay," he said.  "I'm getting there.  I know it's not permanent, I know I'm going to be able to walk and get around."

In the meantime, though, the Doyles are learning to navigate through their new normal.  Sean has a PEG tube, requires lots of daily medications, and this couple also has two children.

"That's been kind of a challenge, but I think we're coping with it pretty good, I guess," said Alyson.

Sean does not yet know when he will be back at the Sheriff's Office, or what his role might be.

"I'll take whatever they've got," he said.  "That's all I know is Sheriff's Department."

What Sean and Alyson do know is their faith, friends, and family have been the glue that holds them together while they walk this unexpected road.

"To see the community come together and really help out has been amazing," said Alyson.

Sean still has to undergo one more procedure to put bone back in his head, protecting the brain.  He is starting a demanding schedule of therapies now that he is home.  

A community garage sale benefit for the Doyles is set for Saturday, August 20 at the KC Hall on 3828 Ernest Street in Lake Charles from 7:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M. Donations can still be dropped off Friday at the KC Hall from 8:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M.

There is also an account set up at Whitney Bank under the name, "Benefit for Sean Doyle."  All money raised will help the Doyles cover their medical-related expenses.

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