When Officer Lloyd Morrison, a Houston Police Department accident investigator, was called to a drunk-driving scene on May 23, 2009, he was hit by a second car — another drunk driver. He called in the incident, requesting back-up and an ambulance. As he stepped out of his car, he was hit again — a third drunk driver.
This time, his legs were run over twice and broken in so many places no one counted the breaks. He was dragged 50 feet and pinned between a car and a fire truck. His arm was nearly severed and he was almost impaled by an exhaust pipe.
Lloyd asked the EMTs to call his wife to tell her, “I’ll be a little late.” An officer escorted her to Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital where experts in The Ginni and Richard Mithoff Trauma Center were working diligently on him.
“I credit the Houston Fire Department with saving my life,” Lloyd says. “And I credit Dr. Brad Scott and his team for saving my limbs. They are tenacious. They never stop. I honestly believe that if I had gone to any other hospital, my legs and arm would have been amputated.”
He woke, after two days and a number of surgeries, to find his wife, Sandra, a retired trauma nurse coordinator, preparing for a long and arduous recovery period. Lloyd was in Ben Taub for five weeks and rehab another month. He used 36 units of blood and endured 13 surgeries.
Incredibly, today he walks and uses his arm. Portions of his hand are still numb, but he says, “You never appreciate things until you don’t have then — using my hand, standing, walking — I’m so grateful. Ben Taub is an awesome hospital filled with remarkable people. I hope they realize how grateful people are because they do their jobs so well.
“I was blessed because of them. I was given another chance for a reason — and maybe it’s to talk to others about making choices. I want people to understand that if you’re going to drink, don’t drive. Drinking and driving took my career and gave me tremendous pain.”
Lloyd is medically retired, something he never wanted. In addition to continued physical therapy, he and Sandra struggle with “psychological torment.” When they hear of another officer getting hurt on the job, they’re reminded of Lloyd’s accident.
“Poor decisions have a domino effect,” he says. “In addition to the person who gets hurt or killed, family members and friends are affected, too.”
Lloyd has a new companion at his Magnolia home. Pano is a police dog who retired after five years of service. “Pano isn’t ready to retire either. He still goes at full speed. I tell him we have to learn to slow down together.”