Darrin Lawson continues to fight.
On June 30, the young Floyd County sheriff’s deputy was one of several officers shot during a response to a call at Allen. Three of Lawson’s colleagues were killed and the life of a K9 officer was also taken.
And, while Darrin escaped with his life, that life has become drastically altered, with the latest surgery he faced resulting in the amputation of one of his legs.
Lawson said his life was saved on June 30 thanks to a split-second decision on the part of officers with the Kentucky State Police and Prestonsburg Police Department who rescued him and transported him from the scene.
“I got shot, I got to cover, and three KSP units found me and carried me to cover,” Darrin said. “They got me in the back of a Prestonsburg police car and they drove me to Highlands.”
Upon his arrival to Highlands, staff struggled to control the bleeding due to the extent of the damage to Lawson’s leg.
“I think they were having trouble controlling the bleeding. I think that night I got 11 bags of blood altogether,” Lawson said.
The doctor on call that night, Dr. Nick Chaffin, just happens to be one of Lawson’s childhood best friends. Along with the officers, Lawson credits Chaffin with saving his life.
“Nick (Dr. Chaffin) made the decision and I’m glad he did, because I don’t know if I would have made it all the way to Lexington at that point. He made the decision to send me to Pikeville Medical Center and they were actually able to get me stable and get the blood stopped,” said Lawson.
According to Lawson, doctors at PMC wanted to amputate his leg. However, facing such a monumental decision, family members opted to at least try to salvage his leg.
Ultimately, the decision was made to send via ambulance to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Lawson was escorted to Lexington by his colleagues from the FCSO and units from KSP. The convoy also received assistance from the Lexington Metro Police Department.
“As we were coming in, Lexington Metro had every street shut down all the way to the hospital,” Lawson said.
Doctors at UK performed reconstructive surgery on Lawson’s leg, in hopes the young deputy would once again regain full use of it.
However, months laterLawson still had no feeling in his toes and his leg had made little to no progression.
“As time went on, it just wasn’t doing what we thought it was going to do,” Darrin said. “They expected I would have full feeling back in my toes and I’d be able to move my toes, but that just wasn’t happening.”
Lawson then met with his surgeon and inquired about amputation.
According to Lawson, the surgeon advised against amputation, claiming Darrin would eventually regain full control over his leg. He then researched amputations and prosthetics and spoke with several amputees who had similar injuries as his.
Lawson underwent amputation on his left leg on Nov. 14 and finally got to return home last week after months in the hospital and just in time for Thanksgiving.
“They (UK Medical Center) took such good care of me, we didn’t have to worry about anything, but It feels so good to be home,” Lawson said.
Lawson and his wife were in the process of renovating their home in Prestonsburg when the deadly shooting occurred.
“We had literally gutted the house and remodeled everything like three weeks before this happened,” said Lawson.
He now faces a long road of rehabilitation, which will require him to travel to Lexington frequently. With the family only having one car, Lawson must now purchase a vehicle to get him back and forth to his appointments.
“Once my rehab starts, I’ll have to drive myself, because my wife works,” Lawson said.
He will also have to transform his newly remodeled bathroom into a sit-down shower.
Lawson’s brother-in-law created a Gofundme page for the deputy to help purchase a car and renovate Lawson's bathroom.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt, says Darrin has been a huge inspiration to his department and he anxiously awaits his return.
“He’s been a huge inspiration to us and we can’t wait to have him back,” Hunt said. Hunt said once recovered, Lawson will be back with the FCSO in some capacity.
Lawson said that the sheriff's office and its deputies have been vital to his life since the shooting.
“I wouldn’t make it without my boys from the sheriff's office," he said. "From bringing me food when I needed it, to moving furniture, building my fireplace and helping with everyday errands. When I’ve needed them mentally and needed someone to talk to, they’ve always been there. The support has been second to none and I hope one day I can return the favor to each and every one of them."
If you would like to make a donation, visit, https://gofund.me/4bf1a4a4.