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Union County sheriff investigating why inmate blacked out, became unresponsive

The inmate's daughter said her name is Kathy Patton, 46.

UNION COUNTY, Tenn. — Union County authorities are looking into why an inmate fell unconscious, requiring resuscitation, while at the Maynardville jail.

Sheriff Billy Breeding said in a statement to WBIR that dispatchers were alerted Sept. 18 that an ambulance was needed at the jail, part of the courthouse complex.

"EMS personnel arrived on scene and transported one inmate to a local area hospital. This is an ongoing investigation, therefore many of the details are unavailable at this time. Furthermore, we feel it is our duty to protect the privacy of this person," the sheriff's statement reads.

There's no evidence of foul play, according to the sheriff. Nor any sign that the inmate might have been poisoned, as some have speculated on social media.

Ashlyn Patton said the inmate is her mother, Kathy Patton, who is serving out a drug sentence at the jail. Patton turns 47 next month.

Ashlyn Patton said her mother is in intensive care at Tennova's North Knoxville Medical Center. She said her mother was set to have a trach tube and a stomach tube put in Monday to help her breathe and get nutrients.

The daughter said she had little information about what had happened to her mother. She said it was her understanding her mother fell unconscious and had to be revived after her heart stopped.

She said she questioned whether her mother could have suffered a drug overdose because she has consistently tested negative on multiple random drug tests at the jail.

She said her mother has suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen after she fell unconscious.

She said her mother serves as a cook sometimes at the jail.

"We will continue to investigate this matter until conclusion," Breeding told WBIR in a statement.

Credit: WBIR

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