NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2009
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


      Okaloosa  County Deputy Johnnie Briggs knows how to deal with reckless drivers,  school zone speeders and traffic crashes.  But today Deputy Briggs faces a challenge his 20-year law enforcement career couldn't prepare him for. In early June, he began undergoing renal dialysis on a grueling schedule of four hours a day, three days a week at a center in Fort Walton Beach.

     Briggs was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 1998. Currently, his two kidneys combined operate at only ten percent of normal function.  Still, determined to pull his typical twelve hour shifts as a member of the traffic enforcement unit at the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Briggs fights the constant fatigue.

    "I have good days and bad days," said Deputy Briggs. "But it does make you very, very tired".

     Deputy Briggs needs a kidney transplant to regain a normal lifestyle. He's currently on the transplant needs list at Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans. There is typically a three to seven year waiting period there.  In Florida alone, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 3000 people are registered as in need of a kidney transplant. 

     Deputy Briggs was encouraged after recently hearing about a happy ending for an Escambia County Deputy in a similar plight whose wife donated a kidney. Briggs' girlfriend in fact hoped to do the same for him, but is unable.   He's hoping public awareness of his plight will spark a potential donor's interest, so he can recover as well.

     For more information,  contact Public Information Officer Michele Nicholson at 850-651-7420.