Nearly decapitated cop endures risky spinal surgery for job
Tenn. Trooper Lowell Russell hopes the surgery will enable him to get back on the job
By Jim Matheny
MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. — In March 2012, Trooper Lowell Russell nearly died after a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the trooper's parked cruiser on the side of Interstate 40 in Knoxville.
For almost two years, Russell has made a slow and steady recovery from the devastating crash. However, the pain and stiffness in his neck has prevented him from regaining the mobility and range of motion needed to someday return to work at the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
"I was just so limited on my movement and pain was so rough, I was just trying to find something so I could get back to a normal life." Russell found that something in San Francisco, California. That's where the only doctor in the country is located who has the expertise and willingness to attempt a risky new procedure that removes the metal from the trooper's backbone.