One year after being shot twice responding to a call in South Dallas, Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter and paramedic William An is still recovering. His memories of that day remain hazy, largely pieced together by stories of others who were there.
“I do remember being in the back of the cop car, because he (the officer) was constantly asking me what hurts to keep me conscious and talking and I remember telling him my arm, my leg, I can’t breathe,” said An.
The shots were fired by Derrick Lamont Brown who had shot and killed his roommate and a neighbor who An was treating when he too came under fire. One bullet hit his leg, shattering all its bones and severing his femoral artery and another bullet cut through his arm, also severing an artery.
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“I honestly never thought I’d get hurt in this way, getting shot or shot at never really crossed my mind,” An said.
The 11-year DFR veteran would go on to have over a dozen surgeries, spending more than a month in the hospital. Months after his release, his wife gave birth to their second child who An said he is now working to hopefully one day be able to run and play with.
“I think about will I be able to run and jump and play with them the way I did before, right now I can’t carry them, so that’s probably the hardest part, adjusting to that,” he said.
An walks with a cane but is optimistic he will eventually recover to the point he can return to the street as a DFR paramedic. On Friday, he will officially return to DFR, working in an office capacity as he continues his rehabilitation. An said his wife, family and colleagues at DFR helped get him through the toughest year of his life and he can’t wait to get back to work.
“I definitely want to get back to them, see them and work with them,” An said.