Clarksdale officer returns home after months of surgeries, rehab - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clarksdale officer returns home after months of surgeries, rehab

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Couch preparing to leave the hospital for the first time in months. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Couch preparing to leave the hospital for the first time in months. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Corporal Derrick Couch (Source: Clarksdale Police Department) Corporal Derrick Couch (Source: Clarksdale Police Department)

The officer shot in the face in the line of duty in Clarksdale, Mississippi, returned home Wednesday.

Cpl. Couch has been in the hospital since he was shot Saturday, February 13, while responding to an armed robbery call. He spent weeks in recovery and rehab,

To read more about Cpl. Couch's story, click here.

According to Couch's father, he took his first steps since the shooting last month.

Couch was discharged from Regional Medical Center on Wednesday. Dozens of Clarksdale Police Department vehicles escorted Cpl. Couch to his Mississippi home.

Click here to see photos from the Sea of Blue that escorted Cpl. Couch as he returned home.

One thing Couch said got him through the months of rehab is prayer.

"My prayer was, 'Give me the strength,’” Couch said. “That was my prayer. It worked.”

After 67 days in the hospital, Cpl. Couch anxiously waited for the minute he could leave.

"I feel pretty good,” he said. “I feel I’m an inspiration.”

"The first day was very tough,” Couch’s wife Renita Couch said. “I've never seen him broken down before and not able to do for himself.”

Couch lost his eye after being shot. The two men responsible for the robbery are now behind bars, but Couch said he is not holding a grudge.

"No matter what, you’re forgiven. You are forgiven,” he said. “They’re in the Lord’s hands.”

Couch is also a minister in Tunica. Though everything, he said he never lost faith.

"I told everybody, 'Depend on God.' Depend on God."

Couch said it was his faith that granted his miracle.

"I loved it so much. I put a lot of myself into it. I gave it all I got," Couch said. "My prayer was to give me strength. He gave me my prayer."

Couch said the long road filled with surgeries and rehab was tough, but prayers and support have kept him going.

"Thank you. Thank you. There isn't enough thank yous we can say for the support he has," Renita said.

Couch's wife said they have received letters and cards from all over the world the last two months from people showing their support.

"Whether it was a phone call, texts, letters it never stopped. The love and prayers never stopped," she said.

No matter what, however, Renita is his biggest fan.

"I'm most definitely proud of him," she said. "If he's nobody else's hero, he's mine."

Members of law enforcement presented Couch a check for more than $14,000 when he arrived at his home. The gesture brought him to tears.

Couch said it’s not the journey to recovery that counts; it’s where you end up, and he feels stronger.

Couch said the first thing he wanted to do was eat, and when asked if he was ready to return to work, he gave an emphatic, "Yes."

Couch thanked his wife Renita, who he said stood by his side through it all, but now, it’s time to be home.

“Thank you. I wouldn't be anywhere else.”

Couch still has a long road ahead, but Chief William Read said Couch will always be a police officer.

"As far as I'm concerned, he's got a job as long as he wants it, and I'll stand by that. If he goes, I go," Read said.

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