Two and half years ago, Fort Worth Sergeant Shane Drake was shot in the line of duty. On Thursday, he finally got to thank the medical staff who helped him survive.
There were many smiles and some tears when the officer thanked the staff that saved him at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital. And as much as he thanked them, they also thanked him for his dedication to service.
Sergeant Drake will return to patrol this Saturday afternoon on the west side. His return is an incredible accomplishment, especially after being shot in the line of duty.
No one is more proud of Drake’s recovery than the doctors and nurses who were there that night when he was rushed to the ER.
From the nurses who gave him blood to the surgeons who removed the bullets, Drake returned to the hospital to thank those who saved his life that night.
"Y'all got me through some trying times, and I could not be more grateful for everything that y'all did,” he said. “Just today more than anything, what my wife and I talked about was I wanted to have a chance to tell you all how much I appreciate everything you did."
Drake responded to a welfare check in January 2015 in Southwest Fort Worth. Police say the man inside the home, 40-year-old Wendell King, shot Drake in the hand and in the abdomen. Other officers there returned fire, killing King.
Drake was rushed into surgery. Among those inside the hospital that night was his wife, Kirsten, who is the director of medical surgical nursing.
"As a wife, you have that initial gut response of oh my goodness,” she said. “And then as a clinician, you think of what's going on clinically, and I switched to clinical very quickly to keep a straight head."
Sergeant Drake says his most vivid memory was the morning they took him off the ventilator.
"And that I had to get up and the nurses who were here saying you have to move,” he recalled.
One of those nurses was Lee Pinac.
"Almost two and a half years and you're back,” he said. “And that does my heart very well to see that we do make a difference and y'all make a difference."
Drake says he wants people to know how hard the caregivers worked to save lives every day and how hard officers work to protect them.
"They take the calls. They do what they're supposed to,” he said. “And they have no idea just as we did that night what they're going to go to and they still go."
Drake says the comeback has been his biggest challenge. He has given advice to other officers shot in the line of duty and working to return to full duty.