by ROSE MENDOZA
A police officer, Kevin Holtry, from Boise, Idaho was left paralyzed from the waist down two months ago. Holtry slowly wheels himself into the hospital gym with the look of determination in his eyes.
Holtry says, “I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, you have to show up here every day and say, I’ve got to do something better today than I did yesterday.” He is now finally strong enough to move from basic recovery to focused rehabilitation, where he is now at Craig Hospital in Colorado.
Holtry, a 17-year veteran of the Boise Police Department, was doing a yard-to-yard search for a suspect involved in a shooting and carjacking on November 11, 2016. The suspect opened fire before Holtry had time to react, Holtry was shot 5 times. Bullets went into both his legs, his stomach and spinal cord.
“I knew I was paralyzed immediately … I scraped up my forearm real bad trying to move in this driveway and dirt alley and I was trying to turn over.” As Holtry lay wounded, the suspect kept firing. He shot Corporal Chris Davis, who survived, and fatally wounded a K-9 police dog, Jardo.
Holtry says Jardo was the biggest hero that day, he credits the dog for saving his life. Jardo jumped on the shooter and bit him without being commanded. The suspect was also killed in the shootout.
Three weeks after the shooting doctors had amputated Holtry’s left leg. A rod holds his right leg together. Bullet fragments still remain in his body. Holtry also fights through periodic nerve spasms that strike when he least expects it. He says the nerve spasms are like “a weird lightning bolt feeling.”
Still everyday activities are a struggle. When Holtry first started in bed it took him an hour just to dress himself, now it takes him 18 minutes. It is still too early to determine whether Holtry’s paralysis is permanent, but Holtry says walking is not his goal. Holtry only radiates positivity and plans on reclaiming his independence.