ONLY ON 3: In wake of Giffords shooting former Wilmington Police sergeant speaks about road to recovery


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Submitted: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:33am
Updated: Fri, 10/28/2011 - 1:09pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — All of America got to see Diane Sawyer’s exclusive interview with the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Tuesday night. The two talked about what’s in store for the future. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for Giffords and it’s a road a former Wilmington Police sergeant knows all too well.

Former Wilmington Police Sergeant Mike Fey says he always knew being in the line of duty put him in the line of danger, but he never thought it would happen to him. Fey says now he can’t help but feel for those affected in Tucson, Arizona.

In August 2005 Fey responded to a call at the Houston Moore community and since that call his life has never been the same.

“I was shot in the throat and it came across and took out half of my right lung and exited out of my back and my brain injury came from the loss of blood getting to the brain,” said Fey.

After a nearly fatal gunshot wound to the neck, Fey endured a different lifestyle as he spent the next three years of his life visiting doctors three times a week.

“You thought you overcame it and then you got these daily reminders that you haven’t yet,” said Fey. “It was just things like that I had to relearn new coping strategies and had to deal with things in life and that’s where my wife would be to remind me to do those coping things and make sure I did them because that was part of the recovery process of retraining my brain how to work.”

Fey says he understands the challenges Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be faced with during her recovery.

“She’s in for a long road to recovery,” he said. “To this day I don’t think I have fully recovered but to the extent that I will recover I still think there’s still maybe five or ten percent left.”

Fey says he’s finally getting his life back with the help of his friends, faith and family. These days he spends his time retired from the police department and with his three girls and wife. He says there’s no point in looking to past.

“I just sort of like to move forward with things,” said Fey. “It’s always been my style. I don’t like to look back on things that have negatively affected me in life.”

Fey retired from the Wilmington Police Department in 2009. He currently suffers from short-term memory loss and will be on medication for the rest of his life. Fey says his heart goes out to the victims of the shooting in Tucson. He says the best thing they can do is surround themselves with love and support from family and friends.

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