Texas Officer to Return to Force as Amputee

Despite having his leg severed in the line of duty, a San Antonio police officer looks forward to returning to the force.


SAN ANTONIO --

A San Antonio police officer who was seriously injured in the line of duty will soon be the only police amputee to patrol the city's streets.

Officer Mike Thornton said he was informed a few days ago that he will be getting fitted for the limb that will replace his right lower leg.

"It's going to be awesome. I can't wait for that day," Thornton said.

Thornton, who had his leg severed by a pickup truck in January, said "the next best thing" will be putting on his police uniform and badge.

According to Matthew Porter, a San Antonio Police Department spokesman, a police lieutenant who is no longer with the department was the first amputee to be fitted with a prosthetic limb several years ago.

Thornton has been working hard to return to duty because he wants to return to fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a police officer.

"That's what I keep picturing; it's just getting back, driving a police car again," Thornton said.

Thornton said the daily sessions of intensive physical therapy at the world-renowned Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center are the best part of his day because he is around soldiers, many who are amputees themselves.

Before becoming a police officer, Thornton was in the U.S. Army for seven years. In 2006, his face and hands were burned in an improvised explosive device explosion in Baghdad. He awoke days later at BAMC, where he underwent two years of treatment and rehabilitation. Little did he know that he would be treated years later for another serious injury at the same military hospital, but this time as a police officer.

Now, "I'm actually in better shape now than when I got hurt, and I've only been here 2 1/2 weeks," Thornton said.

As it is, Thornton said he can do practically everything he once did.

"I can make a bowl of cereal. I just can't really get it to the couch anymore," he said.

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