Dayton Police Officer Byron Branch continues to recover from serious injuries he suffered after being hit outside his cruiser on December 16, 2016, while checking a crash on I-75.
While he has been approached by multiple media outlets for interviews, Officer Branch and his family chose to offer a written update on his condition and as a means to thank the community and people across the country for the outpouring of support they have received.
Officer Branch: "First and foremost, I'm both glad and very grateful to be alive. There were blessings that happened from the moment the accident happened, from the man who hit me calling 911 to Officer Camden using a tourniquet on my injured leg, to the doctors and nurses who took care of me in the first minutes and hours I was at Miami Valley Hospital. I was surrounded by the right people at exactly the right time."
Officer Branch and his family have received hundreds of cards and well wishes from around the country from New York, to Missouri, to Colorado. They are trying to write personal 'thank you' notes in response to each one.
Officer Branch: "The outpouring of support and prayers has been inspiring to us, with all the negative things you see about police officers, to get hundreds of cards from people, who had to take the time to write a personal message, find the address, and then send it, has been an amazing experience. It's humbling to see how eager people are to do something nice for someone they don't even know, it makes me want to pay that kindness forward."
Officer Branch hopes to be back to work at the Dayton Police Department soon and says the support from the department has been amazing, from assuring him that he wasn't going to lose this job, to always having visitors in the hospital, to a 'meal train' program that lasted two months, to folks just coming over to keep him company. All of these things help him concentrate on his recovery.
Officer Branch: "I'm a positive person and I focus on what I want to do and then I do it. Recovery from this injury is more a mental process than a physical one. I believe my body will take care of itself."
Something else Officer Branch says has assisted in his recovery is talking to other officers who've suffered similar injuries and are back on the job working with a prosthetic.
Officer Branch: "There is an officer in Louisville who works with a prosthetic and has a blog. I sent him an email, and he ended up calling me and we talked for two hours. He has a way of looking at things that I haven't thought about yet. Right now, my end goal is to get back to work and I am maintaining focus on that."