Home LOCAL PARIS Officer injured while chasing suspect on the road to recovery

Officer injured while chasing suspect on the road to recovery

by MyParisTexas
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Paris Police Officer Leonardo Garcia is on the road to recovery after surgery for a foot injury led to complications that have turned his life upside down. 

On April 11th, Garcia sustained a foot injury while chasing down an alleged car thief but later when he found he had no control over his foot he knew it was worse than he expected. 

“I knew when I went down I broke my foot,” said Garcia. “It felt as if my foot had split in half.”

Garcia was taken to the ER and left with the diagnosis of a bad sprain. However, as time went on Garcia said he knew something wasn’t right and went back to his doctor for an MRI scan that confirmed he had sustained several fractures and ligament tears in his foot.

“My surgeon is well respected in the sports medicine community and I had all the confidence in him to fix me up right, even after the delay in care,” Garcia explained, “the complications that followed changed my life in so many ways.”

After the surgery, Garcia said he ended up with a failed nerve block in his leg which resulted in excruciating pain.

“Shortly after, my oxygen levels started dropping from what doctor’s feared was a collapsed lung or lung clot but ultimately it was a severe case of pneumonia from the day surgery,” he said.

Garcia said he was treated for those complications, however, on the second day he caught an infection which resulted in him feeling paralyzed on his left side and losing consciousness. 

“I was transferred from the spine bone and joint hospital in Tyler by EMS to Mother Frances In Tyler to the stoke unit,” he said. “The attending doctor was in the room with me when my severe symptoms happened and was able to coordinate with the neurosurgeon and stroke team for a direct admit. I had a friend visiting me also when this happen and had the opportunity to make the critical decision since this was day surgery and I had not prepared for anything like this to ever happen,” he continued.

Though Garcia stayed in stroke protocol and was flushed with fluids along with four different IV antibiotics; the stroke-like symptoms turned out to be from the inability to maintain oxygen concentration in his blood.

“I then stayed three nights at Mother Frances to ensure no stroke had occurred and was back home shortly after returning to normal and had most of my sensations back except for short term memory,” said Garcia. “The whole time I just kept looking at my leg wondering how did I end up like this.”

Since he’s been home, Garcia said everyone has been shocked from how a foot pursuit in April nearly cost him his life two months later during treatment for the Lisfranc fracture and ligament rupture.

“When Lt. Thompson and I drove Garcia and his personal vehicle home that day from the ER, nothing like what took place could have been imagined,” Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said.

“This really underscores there is never a ‘routine’ surgery. It was great that Officer Garcia was located where if something did go wrong, there were many resources at his physician’s disposal.”

Garcia said he has a five-month recovery ahead of him with six-weeks non-weight bearing.

“The seriousness of this medical emergency took me by surprise and I don’t think I could ever be prepared for it,” he said. “But I will keep on fighting for a full recovery and will never hesitate to respond to the emergency call.”

After five long days in the hospital, Garcia is now home and said that the messages of support that have come from the community and from around the nation have been pivotal in his recovery. 

“We are looking forward to his recovery so we can see him where he needs to be,” said Hundley. 

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