Doctor talks about recovery from gunshot wounds

Knoxville (WVLT) - It is on the minds of so many in our area, the recovery of officer Norman Rickman. He remains in critical condition at UT Medical Center after Tuesday's shooting, but he is stabilized.

Police still aren't saying where on his body officer Rickman was shot, but family members and doctors tell Volunteer TV they're optimistic about his recovery.

Officer Norman Rickman received several gunshot wounds. For the past 2 days, he's been in ICU at UT Medical Center. Thursday, he's been alert, talking and able to visit with fellow law enforcement.

"The officers who have been over there visiting say he's looking better today that's a promising sign he's communicating more he's more alert today so those are promising signs, and we're very very glad to be able to say that," DeBusk said.

No one was sure after the shooting if they would be able to say that so soon. He's making progress but still suffers from the internal injuries. If he was shot in the chest, his recovery could be slow.

"The best way to think of it is being hit with a big ole hammer so lungs get quite bruised and sometimes doesn't work and that's why for example people are on breathing machines for quite a while," Dr. Brian Daley said.

The bruising can lead to all types of difficulties throughout the whole body. If the lungs are bruised, the recovery could last weeks. If officer Rickman received an abdominal injury, it could take 4 to 5 days to restore him back to eating and moving around.

"The most important thing is how quickly people get here and how quickly we deal with the problem," Dr. Daley said.

Officer Rickman was at the hospital immediately after the shooting, and doctors got him right into surgery. That may be one of the reasons his recovery is looking promising.

Police say they're still investigating the case. They still have some people to question before they can release all the information to the public.

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