Paul Dewing doesn’t remember a thing about the night of 23 March when he was struck by a car on Pedro Castle Road.
But he said he’ll never forget the community support he’s gotten during his recovery from the accident.
‘I’ve been very humbled to be honest,’ Mr. Dewing said.
The K-9 officer, who’s been with Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for two years, spent a few weeks in Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital following the accident. Some brain tissue swelling which concerned doctors early on has fully receded.
The officer’s tall, physically imposing frame is a bit thinner than it was before the accident occurred. He walks with the help of a short, black cane. He has a plate in his badly broken left arm, and bar through the middle of his lower right leg.
Doctors cleared him to return to Cayman in April, and said he is expected to make a full recovery.
‘I’m projecting three weeks forward to finish learning how to walk again, to get rid of the cane and walk independently’ he said during an interview with the Caymanian Compass Friday. ‘I can do it at the moment, but I do get fatigued quite quickly.
‘Maybe it’ll be four weeks after that I’d be looking at back to work on light duties; no confrontation duties.’
His intention is to return to full duty at the RCIPS K-9 unit.
‘It will happen,’ Mr. Dewing said.
The officer’s return was in severe doubt in the days after he was struck by a Honda Civic while he was out walking two of his dogs. The animals, retired K-9 unit dogs named Kaiser and Ellie, were also hit by the car but have since recovered.
The vehicle’s driver has not been charged with any crime. Police are still investigating the accident.
‘I’ve been through a variety of emotions towards the driver,’ Mr. Dewing said. ‘A certain amount of anger and resentment you would expect given the circumstances.
‘But I’ve settled back on the fact that he stopped and called the emergency services. Without that happening, the outcome could’ve been very different.’
It wasn’t the first major accident for Dewing, who spent 15 years on the Suffolk police force. In 2001, he was involved in an on-duty car crash, which required spinal surgery. He was able to return to duty after that wreck, following treatment.
‘It’s easier this time simply because of the huge level of support that I’ve had, it’s just been overwhelming,’ Mr. Dewing said. ‘It isn’t always the first thing that happens in the UK to be honest. It seems like…a police family here if you like.
‘It’s made a massive difference.’