By Bill Carey
DALLAS – Trooper Curtis Putz of the Texas Department of Public Safety has returned home after a January crash that left him with injuries so severe that his survival was uncertain.
By Jan. 31, winter weather had frozen over North Texas, and Trooper Putz was working the crash scene on Interstate 45 in Navarro County, WFAA reported. A car slid into Putz, pinning him underneath. It took 90 minutes over icy roads to get him to a hospital.
Putz suffered broken pelvis, hips, ribs, hands and legs and nerve damage in one leg. He underwent numerous surgeries and painful skin grafts.
“He was very broken when he came in,” said physical therapist Bridget Denicola, who worked with him when he finally made it to the rehabilitation center at Baylor Scott & White in Dallas.
Baylor Scott & White therapists say they have never seen a patient with such a high pain threshold and such determination.
“I always knew from day one when I met him that there were two goals: Get back to Tash and the kids, and get back to work,” Denicola said.
After 81 days of painful recovery, Putz was discharged and returned home.
“Words can’t describe how I feel right now. I’m so happy to go home, so thankful that I’m still here today,” Putz said during a press conference at the rehabilitation center.
He thanked Denicola and the staff who helped him recover, the surgeons who saved his life, the troops who watched over his family for 11 weeks, and his wife and his faith.
Outside the rehabilitation center, law enforcement lined up with Baylor Scott & White employees to clap and cheer as Putz, his wife and three children walked to the waiting SUV for a police escort home.
“It has been 81 days since the crash that removed your voice from our airwaves on January 31, 2023,” a dispatcher’s voice said over the radio. “Congratulations on going home to finish your recovery with your beautiful family.”