Pell City police sergeant returns to work - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pell City police sergeant returns to work

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PELL CITY - AL -

Pell City police Sgt. Alan Shaddix nearly died in a motorcycle accident in June 2012.

Despite numerous complications and surgeries, including an amputation of his right leg below the knee -- he never gave up on his dream to return to work.

On a cool October morning in Pell City, Sgt. Shaddix called into dispatch. Reporting for duty.

As he walked back into the central office, he carried with him one of his uniform shirts. This one served as a motivator during his recovery time at home.

"The last time I wore it was on the June 6, (2012), two days before the accident," says Shaddix. "It's been hanging at my house, with my badge and everything on it. This shirt has sat on a hanger for the last 16 months."

It was that long ago day in north Georgia that a pickup truck pulled out in front of Shaddix's motorcycle.

He laid it down and slid into the side of the truck. The accident broke both his arms , and legs -- broke 12 ribs, punctured both lungs, ruptured his diaphragm, bruised his heart, lacerated his liver. He lost a lot of blood and even had a basilar skull fracture.

Most would say it's a miracle he's still alive

He spent months of recovery with just one thought. To get back into uniform.

"The (bulletproof) vest feels like it did before. Getting into the uniform -- the polyester fabric feels the same. The belt around my waist feels the same," he says.  "It's nothing new, it's familiar.. But then of course, I've been wearing this stuff for 25 years."

25 years of duty. Shaddix needs to have a minimum of 26 years, before he can retire.

That served as even more motivation.

"I couldn't just sit around and do nothing. I have to be active. I've got to be doing something," Shaddix says. "Something inside of me saying you've got to finish this out."

 His fellow officers offered their sick leave to keep Shaddix on the force. His first day back, it didn't take long to seem as though he never left.

Shaddix hopes that his story will serve as a reminder about how quickly life can change.

"Be prepared for what they call life altering events. I never dreamed that I would get run over on my motorcycle, be near death, fighting for my life, being an amputee." He goes on to say, "Don't ever give up. Don't ever give up hope. Don't ever underestimate the charity, the love of your fellow man."

Call him a fighter. But, he doesn't see himself as an inspiration.

"I never wanted to be an inspiration to anyone," says Shaddix. "I never wanted to be an example to anyone. I was just an average guy who wanted to get back to normal. That's be a police officer, being able to come home and see my family every night."

Shaddix will be able to retire in January of 2015.

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