Monday, July 4th, 2022

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A Long Island police officer, who spent one month recuperating from critical injuries he suffered from an alleged drunk driver, is expected to be home for Christmas, his chief surgeon said at a news conference at Stony Brook Hospital Medical Center on Friday.

Suffolk Officer Timothy Thrane was cheered with a round of applause by hundreds of fellow officers and supporters, as he was wheeled out of the hospital by a team of paramedics. He was greeted by his family who wore “Thrane Strong” t-shirts and was feted by bagpipers from the police Emerald Society, as well as a flyover from helicopters overhead.

Thrane had been directing traffic after an earlier crash at the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and Yaphank Woods Boulevard on Nov. 3 at midnight when police say a drunk driver struck the rear of a parked GMC Yukon causing the vehicle to strike him. Thirty-five-year-old Thrane, a three-year member of the force, suffered life-threatening brain injuries and was on life support and a ventilator after his resuscitation.

Thrane, a father of three young children, has had multiple surgeries and round-the-clock care, but he is set to begin his rehabilitation at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson.

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He will be going through in-patient rehab and is expected to be home for Christmas with his family, said Dr. James Vossvinkel, Stony Brook University Hospital Chief of the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care.

Vossvinkel, who also serves as Suffolk police’s chief consulting surgeon and medical director, said that it is “very hard to describe the emotions” that he was feeling in saying those words.

The officer will still have to go through “a lot of suffering and pain, unfortunately” as he regains muscle to be able to walk again, Vossvinkel said.

“As a whole, he is going to be going home to his family,” he said. “He’s going to be a dad and he’s going to be a police officer. So it’s the most positive outcome to have, but he has a lot of work ahead.”

Thrane told reporters that he feels great to be one step closer to going home, Newsday reported.

He went on to describe the support that he got as “overwhelming.” That’s the longest I’ve ever not seen my children,” he added.

Thrane had an epidural hematoma which forced his medical team to open his skull up to drain the fluid out and his humerus bone and hand were broken, and all of the ligaments were ripped in his neck, as well as some in his knee. He developed complications such as Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, as well as Adult Respiratory Distress, which caused his body to attack his lungs.

Vossvinkel described him as “very critically ill.”

Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron joked that he is normally criticized for not smiling at news conferences, before adding, “I’m smiling today.”

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“Today is taking a big step forward to what I believe and I hope will be a complete recovery,” he said. “Tim spent a large portion of his time here in Stony Brook in critical condition — literally fighting for his life every day. This incident highlights the inherent dangers in our profession and why we must continue to work to eradicate drunk driving from our roadway.”

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