FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) -- An officer who fell off a bridge while chasing down a suspect spoke exclusively with News 8 about his near death experience and the struggles that lie ahead.
It's been less than two months since Stamford Police Officer Troy Strauser was fighting for his life at Norwalk Hospital. A high speed car chase led to a chase on foot. Officer Strauser, chasing after the suspect, fell 20 feet off an overpass onto a guardrail on the side of I-95.
"All I remember is standing up in a daze and it was like a slow motion and feeling my arm," said Strauser. "I never looked at it, but just feeling it, it never felt right. I felt a sharp pain in my gut and when I looked down that was when I saw a big pool of blood."
He suffered several internal injuries, underwent multiple surgeries and remained in the ICU for a week. The first person he thought of was his wife.
"To be in a position where a loved one is hurt and the doctor comes out and you ask a doctor is he going to make it and the doctor says 'we don't know.' I think about that quite a bit," Strauser said.
He goes to physical therapy three times a day and has regular visits with his doctor to make sure his internal injuries are healing. One of the hardest parts, he says, is not being able to play with his three kids, all of whom are under the age of seven.
"To keep having to say no to them it weighs a lot on me, it really does," Strauser said. "I can't wait to be better and throw them in the air or chase them around."
It's not just the physical injuries he has to overcome, but the emotional ones.
"The physical injuries they'll heal," Strauser said. "You may have some soreness and pain, but with your mind it can go to some dark places."
Strauser says he's been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he's received from his fellow police officers and perfect strangers. He's received hundreds of cards from people all over the country.
"It's those types of events and those type of people that motivate me when I'm not feeling good," said Strauser.
One letter in particular, from a girl in Arizona, touched him deeply.
"A girl from Arizona whose father was shot in the line of duty," said Strauser. "It means a lot, stories like that, you get a card like that: powerful, it really is. It means a lot."
He has a long road ahead, but a lot of people will be traveling it with him.
Click here if you'd like to make a donation to Officer Strauser and his family through Paypal.
Donations and letters of support can also be mailed to:
Officer Troy Strauser
c/o Stamford Police Association
805 Bedford Street
Stamford, CT 06901
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