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Mass. Transit Officer Upbeat in Battle to Recover

The transit police officer critically injured in a firefight with the bombing suspects said he expects to make a full recovery, adding in a sometimes lighthearted message that he owes his life to the first responders and doctors who saved him.

Richard Donohue said in a statement released by MBTA police yesterday that he is "awake, moving around, talking and telling jokes (much to my wife's dismay)."

Donohue, 33, who was shot in the April 19 shootout in Watertown with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, said he is able to walk "briefly" with a walker, and that his pain varies.

"I still have a long road of rehab and recovery ahead, but I am optimistic I'll recover back to 100 (percent)," he said. "The bullet will remain in my leg as it is not obstructing anything or causing any pain. However my wife has informed me that the bullet will ultimately cause her the most pain, as I will be using it to get out of things such as mowing the lawn, doing laundry, and painting the deck."

The bullet, doctors say, severed his right femoral artery, and he was on a ventilator in the days after his brush with death.

"I am told that when I arrived at the hospital I had almost no blood and no pulse, and the team of medical experts at Mount Auburn miraculously brought me back to life," Donohue said.

"I must thank my brothers from the Transit, Boston, Harvard, Watertown, Cambridge and State Police, as well as fire department personnel and the various other first responders, all of whom put their own lives on the line to save mine," he said. "In the midst of a firefight they dropped to the ground and assisted me when I was shot."

Donohue also sent condolences to the family of Sean Collier, the MIT police officer and Donohue's friend who police say was shot and killed by the suspects on April 18 in an "assassination" that sparked a daylong manhunt.

"Sean was one of my good friends out of the academy and I arrived on scene soon after Sean's attack," Donohue said. "There is not a single day we are not thinking or speaking of Sean."

Police have said they're investigating whether Donohue was injured by friendly fire. He said he has "very little memory of the week's events" and is still working with officials to piece it all together.

"When the full story of that evening is accounted for, it will be wilder than any movie you have ever seen. And it will contain more heroes," he said.

Copyright 2013 - Boston Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service