Andrew Steen's father, Dan, said Wednesday was a turning point in the officer's recovery. Surgeons replaced a piece of the South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper's skull that doctors removed after a suspected drunk driver hit Steen during a late-night car chase in October.
“There's nothing worse for a parent than to have their child put in a dangerous way or to be hurt like Andrew. There's just nothing worse,” Dan Steen said. “There isn't anyone that can deny that a lot of his progress isn't due to prayers.”
Doctors removed Andrew's skull so his brain could heal. He also has a broken ankle. The rehab for all of it will take weeks, maybe months. But Dan says his son is talking, texting, and smiling even more following Wednesday's surgery.
“We always feared that call at night or that knock on the door and at four that morning and that phone rang, my heart just sank,” Dan said.
Dan said Wednesday’s successful surgery has raised the spirits of everyone. He believes good doctors, family support and help from above all played into the positive outcome. He continues to pray.
“My wife and I and many others, we pray every night for the military and the people in law enforcement, and the people who are hospitalized,” Dan said, “I don't know what it would be like to lose a child. I don't know if I can bear that.”
Dan says Trooper Steen is talking and making jokes about going back to work with his cast on. He says he can't wait to see him back with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. The family hopes to have him home by Christmas.