GRAPEVINE - A critically injured Grapevine police officer was able to go home from the hospital just in time for Thanksgiving.
With his wife and daughter by his side, Sr. Officer R.J. Hudson was sent off by dozens of police officers and doctors who lined the outside of the hospital building.
Hudson doesn't remember all the details of the crash but he knows an SUV slammed into his police motorcycle while he tried to pull over another driver at about 10:15 a.m. on October 19.
"Surreal," he said. "As far as I know, I was keeling after somebody, a speeder. Next thing I remember, I was in the hospital, people telling me, 'Oh, you did this and you did this and you broke this.' Well, oh, so that's why that hurts."
Hudson was sent to the ICU at Baylor, Scott and White, a level two trauma center. His spleen, kidney and lungs were injured. He broke 23 bones, some of which shattered into pieces. He had multiple surgeries.
"One of the doctors said, 'Do you know you have 40 bones in your wrist?'" Hudson recalled. "And I said, 'Sure." And he said, 'No, no, you have 40 bones. Everybody else has seven.'"
The physical therapy to get to this point has been grueling.
But his fellow officers have been by his side to help and encourage him every step of the way, and they're not leaving it anytime soon.
In fact, officers from various departments lined up around the hospital, clapping for Hudson when he left the hospital in a wheelchair Wednesday. Some gave him fist bumps while others gave him hugs.
"It was divine," said Angie Hudson, his wife. "Every situation we walked through we feel like has been divine for his recovery."
"I can't say enough," the officer said. "I'm extremely thankful. I'm thankful to the Lord to be alive."
Even Hudson's doctors are impressed with his recovery.
"He was a stellar patient, always had an incredible good attitude," said Brittany Culp, M.D., general trauma surgeon. "Everyday he was showing us things he could do that I wish I could walk him down the halls and show other patients what he was doing."
"If you're a person that questions whether miracles do happen, you just look at Officer RJ Hudson and you'll see a miracle right there," said Grapevine Police Chief Eddie Salame.
When asked what pushed him through his recovery, Hudson answered, "Will and determination on my part, which is fueled by the love and support of my family and my brothers and sisters in blue."
Even though Hudson has been released from the hospital, he still has a long road to recovery. He will continue physical and occupational therapy at home and in an outpatient facility.
Doctors say it will still be several more months before he's back at work.
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