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S.C. Sen. Greg Hembree walking days after waking from medically induced coma

S.C. Senator Greg Hembree (right) speaks during a Veteran’s Day ceremony in North Myrtle Beach on Nov. 11, 2016.
S.C. Senator Greg Hembree (right) speaks during a Veteran’s Day ceremony in North Myrtle Beach on Nov. 11, 2016. jlee@thesunnews

Just days after waking from a medically induced coma, state Sen. Greg Hembree is walking, talking and in good spirits, according to his oldest daughter.

Nora Hembree Battle said her father, who was initially hospitalized on July 26 for a brain aneurysm, is making great progress and has already set a personal goal to be home in time for his 58th birthday next week, though she notes that might be a bit ambitious.

Hembree had initially been recovering before doctors placed him in a medically induced coma and put him on a ventilator after he contracted a staph infection, most likely from an IV, Hembree Battle said.

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He remained in the coma for eight days until waking up Saturday morning, and Hembree Battle said her father’s steady recovery has been described to her as a minor miracle by a couple nurses taking care of him.

“For him to be up and walking is pretty incredible,” she said, noting she believes it has taken a combination of his physical fitness and sheer determination.

She said Hembree wanted to let the public know how much he appreciated every healthcare professional that has treated him along the way.

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The Republican has served as South Carolina’s District 28 senator representing Horry and Dillon counties since 2013 and previously held positions as the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor and city attorney for North Myrtle Beach.

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

Fellow Republican state Sen. Sean Bennett, of Dorchester County, tweeted Monday that he was surprised and delighted to receive a phone call from Hembree.

“So good to hear my friend’s voice,” Bennett wrote.

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Hembree Battle said her father has been making calls and texting to let people know how he’s doing, and he has no intention of slowing down from his role as state senator.

Hembree loves a challenge, his daughter said, which has suited him well in politics and will help him now as he faces lots of physical therapy and recovery.

David Weissman: @WeissmanMBO; 843-626-0305

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