GRAPEVINE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Grapevine Police Senior Officer RJ Hudson has returned to full duty after being critically injured in the line of duty more than two years ago.
Monday was Officer Hudson's first full day back on his own in the traffic unit.
Since the accident that nearly claimed his life, Officer Hudson has undergone 11 surgeries and hundreds of hours of intensive rehabilitation therapy, Grapevine Police said.
"It's a big deal for me to be able to not only come back as an officer, but I'm blessed to be alive," Officer Hudson told CBS 11. "I'm glad to be able to come back as an officer and super glad to be able to get back on the motorcycle and do what I love."
On October 19, 2017, Senior Officer Hudson was traveling south on SH-121 near Hall-Johnson Road when an SUV swerved into his lane and hit his motorcycle. Officer Hudson was rushed to the hospital with dozens of broken bones, lacerations, and internal injuries.
He was released from the hospital a little more than a month later, where he continued his recovery at home.
Hudson ultimately returned to work on light duty, but still faced obstacles and setbacks in his recovery, including the need for additional surgeries and therapies.
On September 17, 2019, Officer Hudson was released from medical care and allowed to return to work in full uniform. He then spent the next several weeks re-acclimating and re-certifying in all aspects of his job duties as a motorcycle officer.
The Grapevine Police Department said in a statement, "Throughout his journey, Hudson remained positive and focused on his recovery. The Grapevine Police Department recognizes the sacrifices, dedication, and determination by not only Senior Officer RJ Hudson, but his entire family for their unwavering support and positive attitude. Congratulations to Senior Officer Hudson, and thank you to everyone who assisted in his recovery along the way."
Grapevine Police also tweeted a short video of Officer Hudson (first officer on the right) with his traffic unit colleagues and said, "2 years and 16 days since the on-duty crash that nearly claimed his life -- today Senior Officer RJ Hudson is back on full duty as a traffic officer. So many obstacles, yet RJ never quit. Today we celebrate his success. #NeverQuit #Congratulations"
Grapevine Police said Officer Hudson's injuries included:
Both orbital bones broken
Cracked teeth and filling knocked out
Ruptured ear drum
Diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (T.B.I.)
Puncture wound right tricep
Bursitis in left hip
Broken left clavicle
Left scapula fractured
8 broken ribs (7 left, 1 right)
4 ruptures in lungs
Arterial bleeding & spleen injury
Torn right rotator cuff
Multiple compression fractures of vertebra
Left wrist broken
Left thumb broken
Right wrist broken
Right thumb, index finger and knuckles broken
Shattered bones in right forearm
Nerve damage to right hand
Ligament damage to right wrist
Tibial plate fractured in left leg
Torn meniscus in left knee
Ligaments & tendons torn in left ankle
Talus bone in left ankle fractured
Shattered bones in left foot
--26 different broken bones
for more features.