Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wounded Ballwin Officer Is Paralyzed, Remains on Ventilator, Chief Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wounded Ballwin Officer Is Paralyzed, Remains on Ventilator, Chief Says

Article excerpt

BALLWIN * Police Chief Kevin Scott announced publicly Monday what much of the region's law enforcement community knew for more than a week: Wounded Ballwin Officer Michael Flamion is paralyzed from the neck down.

Sarah Flamion stood beside Scott and, as she realized his narrative about her husband was approaching that word, sobbed and turned away, into the arms of a solemn-faced Mayor Tim Pogue.

If not for quick care from passers-by and paramedics, Scott explained, Michael Flamion would have died on the pavement of New Ballwin Road near his patrol car, where he was shot by surprise in the neck July 8 after making what seemed like a routine traffic stop.

He has not been able to breathe on his own since.

Scott said Flamion, 31, was alert and communicating with visitors at Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur by nodding and trying to mouth words.

"He can make sounds, and his wife knows every single word he says," Scott said in an interview later Monday. Flamion will require "extensive long-term care" for "catastrophic" spinal cord damage, the chief said, and has not had any surgery.

"I've heard the word 'severed,'" Scott said about the spinal injury. "But there will have to be additional analysis after the swelling goes down. He can't move anything below his neck, but he can move his head. He's very alert."

Scott said the department had waited to announce the extent of Flamion's injuries because the situation was "fluid."

Sarah Flamion faced cameras to thank the community for its outpouring of support, calling the response "overwhelming."

Civilians who reached Flamion first were key to saving his life, Scott said. A man who lived nearby called 911 and performed CPR. A runner stopped to assist, as did a passing motorist who happened to be a nurse.

Arriving police used a "clot pack" dressing to stop the bleeding, and Metro West Fire Protection District paramedics provided their advanced skills. …

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