MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WHNT) -- A tragedy strikes the family of a Marshall County Sheriff's Office employee and as one of their own, the department is standing behind them, just as they've done since the beginning.
Normal life in the Compton house stopped just before Christmas.
You would think it was Christmas when you step into their home. A tree is still up, presents are still under it.
They had postponed celebrating the holiday.
Christmas is when their two-year-old son David got sick. His parents, James and Brittany, didn't think it would turn into what it did. "They ran more tests on him and said he had RSV, he would be okay," James Compton says.
So they went on with their lives, for a few days. "Come Sunday he laid down for a nap, woke up, and couldn't hardly breathe," Compton says.
They rushed David to the ER, where doctors diagnosed him with a staph infection in his lung.
James is a corrections officer for the Marshall County Sheriff's Office. The entire department stood behind him and his wife during the time their son was in the hospital. "We've been taking up money for quite some time, and have already sent them some, but want to send them more," Sheriff Scott Walls says, "It's a tough time for them."
Knowing the entire department was standing behind them was a push they needed to stay strong.
David never stopped smiling through the months he spent there.
He passed away this week.
The Comptons say they can't imagine moving on without their youngest boy.
But there's an entire department standing behind them, merely because Compton is one of their own.
And that's what they do. "It's almost overwhelming," Compton says.
There's a Facebook page dedicated to their son's memory. It has more than seven thousand likes.
The Sheriff's Office is continuing to help the family through its support and donations. If you would like to help as well, you're asked to call the department at (256) 582-2034.
Compton says throughout his son's illness they've received comforting messages from all over the world through the Facebook page.