Last wish: Former Houston police sergeant votes from hospital bed before he dies

HOUSTON — If you’re standing in long lines to vote this week, or are mulling over a mail-in ballot, remember the importance of casting your vote. That was the final wish of a dying former Houston police sergeant, who voted from his hospital bed two days before his death.

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John Pohlman, who served with the Houston Police Department for nearly five decades, died Monday, according to the Houston Police Retired Officers Association. He was 77.

Pohlman’s wife, Lenora Pohlman, said her husband was taken to a Houston hospital on Oct. 10 with a collapsed lung. She said the former policeman had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis “about 10 years ago,” KTRK reported.

Pohlman was sworn in as an officer on Jan. 8, 1968, and retired June 17, 2017, according to the Houston Police Retired Officers Association.

While waiting in the emergency room, John Pohlman asked his wife if she was still carrying their mail-in ballots, and she said yes.

“He said, 'Well, get those ballots out,” Lenora Pohlman told KTRK. “Because I want to sign it. I want my vote to count.”

And that’s what John Pohlman did, and he got KTRK photojournalist Charles Fisher to record the moment.

“If my husband can do it on his deathbed, then everyone else should be out there to vote,” Lenora Pohlman told KTRK. “If his last act gets one person to vote -- whoever they voted for -- he was like, ‘I don’t care who you vote for. Just vote.'”