KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT) -- Tennessee State Trooper Lowell Russell's life changed at 2:50 AM March 13TH, 2012 when a semi crashed into
Russell's car near Walker Springs on Interstate 40
Alan Williams caught up with him as he got back from rehab at Vanderbilt Medical Center two years to the day of the accident.
WILLIAMS: "Does it feel pretty good to get out in the sunshine instead of a hospital bed?"
RUSSELL: "Oh yea, especially to be back in East
Russell has been hospitalized for the last few weeks after undergoing another surgery, a far cry from that night two years ago.
DISPATCH: "Is the officer out of the car?
OFFICER: I don't lknow that's what I;m checking on now!" K
RUSSELL: "I was knocked out unconscious"
Knoxville Police, EMS and some private citizens risked their lives pulling Russell from his burning car after a semi slammed into it.
For weeks Russell battled death. His neck and spine had to be fused.
"I remember when I woke up I wanted to know what happened, of course I couldn't talk i still had the ventilator in", Russell said.
Russell just returned from another surgery to remove all the bolts and screws holding his neck in place from the first surgery.
In the meantime, there have been a lot of prayers, even bumper stickers on cars.
Russell has also been honored throughout the state numerous times and his Christian faith has gotten stronger after being baptized.
WILLIAMS: "Do you ask sometimes why me, or why did this happen?
RUSSELL: "I do and I've come to the conclusion that god does things and he's got a plan for
me and hopefully fulfill the goals he has for me."
Russell used his own notoriety to shed light on Lance Corporal Frankie Watson, a family friend he raised as a son. Watson died in Afghanistan in 2012. After Watson's death Russell started a scholarship in Watson's honor for high school seniors.
Lowell Russell, a man who once faced death is now touching others in a positive way.
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