Amputee cop back on beat after RBT crash
SENIOR Constable Jonathan Wright was bleeding out on the road with a stranger's belt tied around his crushed right leg.
A texting driver had just ploughed into him and his partner Senior Constable Matthew Foley as they set up a random breath testing station on Campbelltown Rd at Leumeah on February 16.
"The amount of blood that was coming out of me … we couldn't control it," Constable Wright said.
"We used (the belt) as a temporary tourniquet. Without that my kids would have no father."
The pair of Highway Patrol officers were rushed to Liverpool Hospital and survived but when he woke Constable Wright had changed forever.
"I woke up with the foot gone. An (external skeleton) was holding the femur and the tibia together with skin sewn over the top," he said.
It took doctors days to stop the pain.
"The accident itself was probably the second most painful experience of my life, the most painful experience was the two nights in the hospital where we couldn't control the pain. Eight or nine hours where there was absolutely no pain control," he said.
Constable Wright praised surgeons for achieving the "perfect" result by keeping his thigh intact and discharging him from hospital within three weeks.
Three months to the day after the crash Constable Wright began a remarkable and dogged bid to regain his former life.
He worked a two-hour week at Narellan Police Station. He now works 16 hours a week with a goal of going full-time.
"It's done. I can't dwell on it, I have my kids to worry about. They're going to feed off what I project," he said.
He said the toll on the Wright family - his wife Lisa and children Jack, 8, Isla, 6 and Maddison, 1 - had been immense.
"The burden on (Lisa) is huge and she's powering through it. She's a very competent nurse and she's successful in her own role."
The keen mountain bike rider has pledged to continue the gruelling hours in a police-run rehabilitation centre to master the use of his prosthetic limb and recreate the active life he built for his family.
"I got out riding pretty much as soon as I got home, just out the front, just to show them some normality," he said.
"They're pretty good now, they're resilient."
The driver involved in the crash, 23-year-old Jakob Thornton, will be sentenced on November 23 to four charges including dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and drive use mobile phone.
Constable Wright has been nominated for the Pride of Australia medal for his determination in returning to work after the accident.
He this week joined officers running security operations at the Invictus Games.