An Oklahoma City police officer is back on the job after suffering a rare spinal stroke earlier this year.
News 9 first shared Sgt. Donny Koger's road to recovery in March, and this week marks his return to full duty.
“Four months and I’m back in the car,” Koger said. “It’s pretty miraculous to me.”
Armed now with a brand-new heart monitor, Koger has been on a mission to get back to his southwest Oklahoma City patrol as quickly as possible.
“It feels good.” Koger stated. “Feels like I’m rusty. It’s taken a few days to get used to it again.”
Just a few months ago Koger was fully paralyzed. He was on an off-roading trip in Arkansas when the stroke hit. It just so happened that the University of Arkansas was developing a surgery specifically for spinal strokes.
The procedure had yet to be successful, until Koger. He walked out of the hospital less than a week later.
Now, doctors will monitor his heart for the next two years as they study his case.
“They’re just trying to catch anything irregular to see if they can pinpoint what caused it, but as of this time they don’t know,” Koger said.
Koger is not taking his second lease on life lightly. As he returns to his service to the community, he also hopes to serve other stroke patients through the research into his success. He says the lesson he has learned is, “don’t sweat the small things.”
Koger is now working with doctors in Oklahoma City to develop the same surgery that helped him.
“I thought life was over at that time, at that point in time,” he says. “To get a second chance, it means a lot,” Koger said.
Koger still doesn’t fully understand why this profound experience happened to him, but he is taking away from it a determination to never give up. He now wears a bracelet with the same message.