Contra Costa Co. deputy loses leg in accident, hopes to get back to work

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - A life changing accident is proving to be no deterrent for a Contra Costa County deputy who is fighting to get back on the job.

Deputy Dwight Morgan had been working at the county jail in Martinez for three years before losing his leg just above the knee in an accident.

Now, a few months later, he's anxious to get back to work. Putting on his prosthesis where his right leg used to be is the 37 year old's new normal.

"Mainly what I want to do is get back to normal...get back to working," said Morgan.

He says there's some discomfort and pain. But he doesn't look back - only forward.

Morgan says his inherent upbeat nature has served him well.

"What can we do to fix me? What can we do to get me back get me moving? I never think about oh my goodness I lost my leg. It's never going to be how it was. My mechanics don't work that way."

The husband and father of five lost his right leg and seriously injured his left arm in a motorcycle accident on his way to work from his home in Stockton.

"I can move my hand good but not completely yet," said Morgan.

On September 21 of last year, Morgan says he lost control of his Suzuki Hayabusa near Rio Vista. He says he has no memory of what happened. But his love of life remained intact.

"First thing I remembered saying was oh my goodness, I crashed my motorcycle. Don't tell my wife," laughs Morgan.

Three months in the hospital surrounded by family, friends and his fellow sheriff's deputies helped him heal.

"I'm just glad he's with us. He could have been a paraplegic or dead. It was just his leg," said Raquel Morgan, his wife.

To regain full mobility needed for his job, Morgan undergoes weekly physical therapy. He doesn't plan to work behind a desk when he puts on his sheriff's uniform again. He expects to return to full duty - walking the rounds at the jail and overseeing inmates.

"I want to get there as fast as I can," said Morgan.

Morgan's physical therapist says his progress is unusual. He describes Morgan as an optimist and realist.

"His attitude. that's what makes the difference," said Stephen Law, Morgan's physical therapist at Kaiser Permanente.

"In the five months since the accident, Morgan, is spending more time with his family and has learned to appreciate the fragility of life.

"I never had the opportunity to lose that smile because so many people came out and showed that they cared. I really don't know how to say thank you," said Morgan.

He hopes to return to his job at the jail in April or May.

His friends and co-workers are holding a fundraiser for him next month to help with medical expenses.