KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT)---Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam told a crowd, "I never dreamed that 2 months and one day later that Lowell would be here with us today, would you stand?
It was a jaw dropping moment for over 800 people.
A Knoxville leadership banquet honoring those in the workplace whose strength, character and determination led them to great successes.
It's here Russell was welcomed back.
A far cry from early March when a big rig crushed his patrol car.
Governor Haslam said, "I got a call after the accident and said it didn't look well."
And it wasn't.
Lowell told Local 8 News Anchor Alan Williams his neck and spine were fused together after six hours of surgery.
The marks on his forehead, remnants of where a halo was attached for weeks.
A semi driver almost ended Russell's life one March morning when he fell asleep at the wheel, his rig crushing Russell's cruiser.
Governor Haslam said, "I think for me, it;s encouraging that people will do what Lowell does which is a very dangerous profession, then after that I asked when are you coming back to work, he said as soon as I can."
And with a voice just barely audible, Trooper Russell said,
"Glad to have you here Governor, all the nice things you said. I appreciate it and I hope my voice is back soon. But I do appreciate everyone praying for me".