BOISE — Idaho State Police Trooper Chris Glenn smiled twice Tuesday while talking about his recovery as he prepared to leave Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.
Once for his 3-year-old son, Daidan, who snuggled in his father's arms.
And once for the thought of finally going home to Kimberly.
Glenn, 34, was released Tuesday from the Boise hospital. Nearly 10 weeks ago he was shot by an armed robbery suspect in south Twin Falls. The bullet struck him in the neck, paralyzing him from the chest down. But after weeks of rehabilitation, he is again self-sufficient.
He proved that to a cheering crowd and special honor guard when he hoisted himself into the passenger seat of a patrol car to be escorted with his family from the hospital grounds by a motorcade.
"My only two choices are give up or fight through it," Glenn told reporters, with his wife sitting beside him and parents standing over his right shoulder. "I've never been a person who would give up on anything. So, that was the only choice. That's always been my attitude. Never give up on anything."
If support from his family and inner strength lent Glenn the courage needed to make a comeback, the hospital made it possible, Glenn said.
"I've had great support from my family. I have him (Daidan) that keeps me going," Glenn said, stroking his son's head. "They (the hospital) gave us the tools to be able to take care of ourselves."
Glenn will live in a Boise hotel and continue rehabilitation in Boise until volunteers complete construction on his new home in Kimberly sometime this spring.
Orthopedic surgeon Gannon Randolph said there is close to no chance Glenn will regain use or feeling below his chest.
A sternly optimistic Glenn said outpatient therapy makes self-sufficiency and resuming work with the state police, although not as a patrol officer, reasonable goals.
In rehabilitation, Glenn has relearned normal day-to-day functioning.
"Things before all this happened that would be very easy are now pretty difficult," Glenn said. "The whole rehab process is baby steps (from) in the beginning where I couldn't do much of anything to today where I am pretty much self-sufficient."
At 7:10 a.m. Dec. 20 when Glenn was shot, he knew that moment he was paralyzed. A second before, he had no idea what was coming.
"It happened so fast, I didn't even know he had a gun. I thought it was the armed robbery suspect. I wasn't sure," Glenn said. "I couldn't move my feet or legs. The one thing I was actually worried about right when it happened was catching the guy," Glenn said.
Glenn stayed conscious long enough to tell officers arriving on the scene to chase the suspect's car. They chased Adam Mower of Twin Falls to Jackpot, Nev., where he crashed racing through town. Then, for two days, Glenn remained unconscious.
"When I finally came out obviously my first thoughts were of my family Ã¢â‚¬-quot; how to take care of them," he said.
In his hospital bed, Glenn received mail from Florida, Pennsylvania, and the Dakotas. Even police officers in Russia and Canada sent words of encouragement and praise.
"It's just been amazing how much outpouring of support there is in this state from total strangers and around the country," he said.
But nothing prepared him for Saturday.
Glenn snuck home for the first time since his injury.
He visited his home-to-be in Kimberly before he was welcomed by 500 people at a fundraiser dinner in downtown Twin Falls. He had heard about the fundraising efforts in his community. He expected to be met with a good deal of support.
But on Saturday night, he felt completely overwhelmed.
"The way the community has stepped up has been amazing," he said.