Paralyzed Texas detective determined to return to work

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A Frisco detective left paralyzed from the chest down by a complication from a long-term illness is fighting hard to get back to work. But he’s not doing it alone.

It’s not easy when you’re the one used to helping people and then the roles are suddenly reversed. But Detective Daniel Bardwell’s brothers and sisters in blue are stepping in to make sure he gets to do the job he loves.

All the things Detective Bardwell used to do without a second thought now take every ounce of strength and determination.

The 13-year veteran of the Frisco Police Department and father of two teenage girls was diagnosed at 17 years old with Crohn’s disease, causing chronic inflammation of the intestines. He’s braved several related surgeries, but nothing like the sudden complication last August that started with neck pain.

“If you’d have given me a choice of a million things that would have happened, this is not one,” he said.

Bardwell was rushed into surgery. An infection left him paralyzed from the chest down. Since then, movement has been slowly coming back.

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“All of a sudden, something like this happens and you realize all the components that actually go into standing up,” he said.

Jill, his wife, has been by his side for more than 18 years.

“We’ve seen from a toe wiggle to finger movement to being able to lift his right leg,” she said. “And with each of those, we just celebrate.”

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