SC Sen. Greg Hembree on a ventilator after getting infection, aneurysm

State Senator Greg Hembree speaks during a legislative panel in 2016.
State Senator Greg Hembree speaks during a legislative panel in 2016. jblake@thestate.com

South Carolina state Sen. Greg Hembree is still in the hospital and is now in a medically induced coma after getting a staph infection, most likely from an IV, according to his daughter Nora Hembree Battle.

Hembree Battle said her father is now showing no signs of the aneurysm he was initially hospitalized for.

Hembree, 57, was taken to the hospital on July 26 for a brain aneurysm but was awake and conscious that night. Doctors initially said they expected him to remain in the hospital for several weeks.

The weekend after the District 28 senator was hospitalized, he contracted a type of staph infection in his bloodstream most likely from an IV in his arm, Hembree Battle said.

The infection spread to his lungs and on Friday, Hembree Battle said the family made the decision to sedate him into a medically induced coma and put him on a ventilator to help him heal and allow fluid build-up on his lungs to drain.

On Wednesday, the senator’s daughter said x-rays were showing less fluid buildup in the lungs, and said her dad needed less oxygen than he did when he was first placed on the ventilator.

Right now, there’s no exact time line for Hembree’s recovery.

“They very much encourage you to take it day by day,” Hembree Battle said. “We’re not trying to set a time line because we honestly don’t know. But things are moving in the right direction.”

“When someone’s placed on a ventilator, it allows their body to rest and their lungs to rest to jump start the healing,” Hembree Battle said.

“We’re really grateful to our friends and family and community who have shown so much love and support, and we can’t wait to share all of the cards we’ve gotten with him,” she said. “It’s pretty cool to see how much your dad means to other people from my perspective. He’s just my dad, and I forget that sometimes, that he fills a lot of other roles as well.”

The 57-year-old Republican has served as South Carolina’s District 28 senator representing Horry and Dillon counties since 2013. Before that, he was the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor, a position now held by Jimmy Richardson.

Hembree is an attorney with the law firm Monckton Hembree and Humphries. He and his wife Renee Hembree live in Little River.

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian

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