Paralyzed Ballwin officer talks with FOX 2 from Colorado Hospital

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Mike Flamion is anxious to return home to St. Louis.

He’s anxious to see his family and fellow squad members at the Ballwin Police Department. He’s anxious to begin his “new normal.”

Though that new normal will be confined to life in a wheelchair, you won’t find someone who is feeling sorry for himself.

Mike Flamion says he’s thankful to be alive, thankful for his wife, and thankful for everyone in St. Louis who has reached out to him since his shooting.

In July, Officer Flamion was shot in the neck after he pulled over a motorist for speeding. He almost died.

Four months ago, Mike and his wife, Sarah, moved to Craig Hospital outside of Denver, where their specialty is spinal cord injuries. There he’s learned to accept and adapt. Sarah is learning how to care for Mike when he gets home later this week.

Mike must use a puff and sip straw to operate his wheelchair. He will use this same method to return to his love of fishing and hunting. It turns out Officer Flamion can operate a fishing rod and even fire a gun all with his mouth.

Mike says he always made sure before he left for his job with the Ballwin police each day that he told his wife that he loved her. She had been by his side every day since the shooting. Flamion says she’s the reason he pushes through each day and works to get stronger.

Mike is still breathing with the help of a ventilator. He had a pacer device implanted last week to help his paralyzed diaphragm. Hopefully through the stimulation of the pacer, he will eventually be able to breathe on his own.