(KMOV) – A Florissant Police officer who was left paralyzed after being shot in the line of duty plans to undergo risky surgery to remove a bullet from spine.
Officer Michael Vernon tracked a burglary suspect to a strip mall on North Lindbergh when the suspect opened fire, hitting Vernon in May 2012.
“I’m dealing with neuropathic pain. I’m trying to struggle just to get out of bed. Those are the days you don’t see me and I’m not smiling,” Officer Vernon said.
One of the bullets lodged in his spine and later this week he will undergo the risky surgery to remove the bullet. The surgery will not allow him to walk but it might ease some of his pain.
“If I could get back on two feet, I’d go back and do it again. I’d put the uniform on,” Officer Vernon said.
Following this surgery, he plays to travel to Europe for stem cell treatment. He knows stem cells are not a cure but there is a chance he might get some function back.
“That’s all I want, is to give me that chance. My body is trying, it’s saying if you give me that opportunity, I think we could make this work,” Vernon added.
Although the planned surgery and treatments are expensive, the residents of Florissant and St. Louis County have stepped up with donations to help take care of him.
“I’m not going to ask anymore of the community, they’ve given more than I could ever ask for. I hope one day I can show you…Hey, it worked,” he said.