FOX 32 NEWS - A south suburban police officer who was shot while on duty and suffered a severe brain injury was released from his rehab hospital on Friday.
Officer Timothy Jones from Park Forest still has a long way to go, but he got lots of encouragement from the hospital staff and police officers who turned out for his discharge today.
Officer Timothy Jones' comrades from the Park Forest Police Department applauded him as he left the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital on his way home to continue his recovery. Fourteen months ago, Jones responded to a burglary call and was shot three times. One of the bullets hit him in the head, causing a traumatic brain injury. His doctors say he's already beaten the odds to get to where he is today.
“This is obviously one small piece of the bigger journey for Tim, and his family, but it’s certainly a milestone day for them,” said Dr. Steven Bou.
Jones' father is the police chief in Country Club Hills. He calls his son the unstoppable Tim Jones.
“Every night, the highlight of the night is, 'dad, let's get our prayer in. Let's do it. Let’s do it,' because he knows that it's only by God's grace and mercy that he made it this far,” said Chief William Jones.
When Jones first arrived at the rehab hospital, he communicated only by blinking. Staffers say at a recent graduation event, with help from a speech therapist, he spoke for twenty minutes.
“He chose not to speak today, but he is very well aware and very able to communicate clearly to everybody,” said Kathryn Williamson, Director of Nursing.
Jones made it clear from day one that his goal is to return to duty, and his fellow officers are ready to help him down that path.
“He could have chosen to give up on that day, but he didn't. He continues to fight and we only can fight right alongside of him,” said Park Forest Police Chief Peter Green.
Doctors say Jones has a clear understanding of what happened to him and has been tremendously resilient in responding from setbacks.