Fate officer welcomed home with parade after 100 day COVID-19 battle

A police officer in the Rockwall County town of Fate got a parade fit for a hero on Friday.

Ofc. Clint Willoughby was welcomed home with big show of community support after battling COVID-19 for more than 100 days.

"It’s amazing. I’m very undeserving of all this. I’m thankful, very lucky," Willoughby said.

Doctors released the officer from the hospital on Friday.

"I live here in Fate and I like to support the police. Since the gentleman was in the hospital for 100 days, salute to him, we’re so happy he’s out and healthy," said Eric Flynn, parade goer. 

Willoughby and his wife were caught off guard by the fanfare.

"A little overwhelmed but ready to go home, excited that our journey of this nightmare is almost over," she said.

The Fate police and fire departments, though eager to see their colleague back at work, encourage him to first follow doctor’s orders and regain his strength and endurance.

Within the fate community and beyond, Willoughby has a team of support.

"A lot of people been asking questions on Facebook and various things. People wanting to keep track of the story and his recovery. We’re so thankful for the thoughts and prayers from everybody. I think that’s what led the charge for his strength to get better," said Lyle Lombard, Fate PD chief.

There’s no date just yet for Willoughby's return to work. But according to the chief, when that day comes there will be another special gesture to welcome him back.