Pell City police officer recovering from injury - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pell City police officer recovering from injury

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PELL CITY - AL -

Alan Shaddix had always loved riding motorcycles. After a 25 year hiatus, he got back on a bike.

It was a beautiful day in Georgia last June.

"I just remember coming out from underneath the interstate. And the sun hitting me, and how warm it was," recalls Shaddix. "The next thing I remember, I was at the intensive care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta."

Shaddix goes on to say after seeing the accident report. "I approached the intersection, an elderly white male driver failed to yield the right of way to me. He pulled out in front of me, so late that I laid the bike down on it's side, slid no more than 20 feet and slammed into the side of the truck."

The accident left Shaddix with a staggering list of injuries.

"Both arms broke, both legs broke, 12 broken ribs, both my lungs were punctured, my diaphragm was ruptured, my heart sac was bruised. My liver was lacerated and bleeding," says Shaddix. "I had lost a lot of blood (16-18 units) and had a basilar skull fracture and had an eye orbital skull fracture."

After numerous surgeries and complications, including pneumonia, the long road, was only beginning.

He says, "(It was challenging) to be dependent on people to move me from my bed, to the bathroom, to the wheelchair. My biggest problem was not being able to do for myself. Because, my whole career, I've done for others."

Shaddix has been with the Pell City police department for more than a decade. Prior to that he was an officer in Montgomery.

Fellow officers rallied for their brother in blue. They offered their sick leave to keep him on the force.

Shaddix is in his 23rd year as a police officer. His goal is to get to a minimum of 26 years, when he can retire.

Each day since the accident has served as motivation to somehow reach that goal.

"I was determined that I'm going to get out of this wheelchair as soon as I can. I went from the walker, bypassed the crutches and went straight to the walking cane," says Shaddix. 

Shaddix says he will likely have to have his leg below the knee amputated, and a prothestetic put in its place. Simply because his foot and ankle cannot pivot.

He says the only way he will return to the force is if he passes the standard physical test, which every officer must take

"I don't want any special accommodations. I want to be able to do what's expected of any police officer," he says.

Despite the struggles, and odds stacked against him. Shaddix will say, he hasn't put away his badge.

"I am a police officer, I still am a police officer and I will be a police officer," he says with conviction.

On Thursday, Shaddix underwent surgery at UAB Hospital to remove a rod in his right forearm and wrist. The surgery went well and he was sent home that afternoon.

Six weeks from then, surgeons are going to fuse his right wrist in place with plates and screws.

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