Sgt. David White, shot repeatedly July 10, will continue recovering at home.
AKRON Surrounded by friends, family, colleagues and hospital staff, Uniontown Police Sgt. David White walked out of Summa Akron City Hospital and into a waiting police cruiser.
White, 59, was released from the hospital Monday, three weeks after being shot repeatedly while responding to a 911 call in Lake Township.
At a press conference in the lobby of the Ann and David Brennan Critical Care Center, White exuded gratitude. He thanked numerous people and organizations — from his fellow Uniontown Police officers, fire responders, and other area law enforcement — to those who held fundraisers, donated money, mowed his lawn and sent prayers and well wishes.
"There has been support from all over the country and I want to thank everyone for all their support," he said.
He also praised Summa for the care he received, thanking the doctors, nurses and janitorial staff for their work.
"Last, but not least, I want to thank God Almighty that I'm still sitting here and can talk to all of you today," White said. "If it wasn't for God and it wasn't for Summa, I wouldn't be here, and I know that and I thank everyone for that."
White spoke alongside his wife, Robin; Uniontown Police Chief Harold Britt; and Summa Health trauma surgeon Dr. Joshua Nash.
"This is a great day for us. It's great to see Dave up and running around. He's not walking, he's running," Britt said.
"We all love him and we all want him back. We can't wait to see him up and in uniform."
White's family and Uniontown Police colleagues stood beside him during the press conference. Seeing them as he walked into the room was "overwhelming. (I'm) trying to fight back the tears and the emotion," White said.
He said it was difficult to put his feelings into words, but "if I had to use one, I'd say fantastic, awesome, great."
"It feels like a new life and starting over," White said.
White was shot several times, including in the abdomen and in the hand, July 10 while responding to a call on Lela Avenue NW. A suspect, Ryan Probst, 28, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with another officer.
Police work is dangerous, said White, a law enforcement veteran of 25 years.
"It doesn't matter if it's a small town or not. It can happen anywhere at any time."
Despite his injuries, White alerted dispatchers that he'd been shot and asked for ambulance to hurry. Officers are trained to keep their heart rate steady and remain conscious and calm, White said.
He arrived at the Summa emergency department aware of his situation.
"I was alert and I knew I was in bad shape and I was going downhill fast," he said, thanking the Uniontown Fire Department for getting him to the hospital alive.
White arrived in hemorrhagic shock — a dangerous condition caused by severe blood loss — and needed transfusions. He was whisked into emergency surgery and then to intensive care. He spent several days in critical condition, Nash said.
"I expect him to make a full recovery," Nash said, adding that after getting to know White, he isn't surprised.
"He's been a laudable patient. Working his butt off," Nash said. "You can't stop him."
White will continue therapy at home and focus on regaining strength. He still has a tube in his stomach and can't use the muscles in his abdomen. Recovery should take eight to 12 months.
White said he hasn't thought much about returning to work and is instead focusing on going home and healing.
And he knows the first thing he'll do when he walks in the door: Reunite with his dog.
"I talk to her on the phone," White said, as the audience laughed. "She whines and cries and looks around for me. So I'm going to pet her when I get home."
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On Twitter: @jholbrookREP.