Deputy wants to return to duty despite losing kidneys, spinal damage

Mycah Hatfield Image
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
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Harris County Pct. 4 Deputy Darryl Garrett lost both of his kidneys, suffered damage to his spine, nerves, and intestines, had his gallbladder removed, and is currently unable to walk after being ambushed in October 2021.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It has been about three weeks since Harris County Pct. 4 Deputy Darryl Garrett returned home from the hospital.

Garrett was shot and badly wounded during an ambush attack in October 2021 while working an extra job at a nightclub off of I-45 and Crosstimbers. He lost both of his kidneys, suffered damage to his spine, nerves, and intestines, had his gallbladder removed, and is currently unable to walk.

Garrett spent four months in the hospital and four months in a rehab facility.

His colleague, Deputy Kareem Atkins, was killed in the attack. Deputy Juqaim Barthen was also shot and has recently returned to work.

"I know we were attempting to apprehend a suspect," Garrett said. "We got him eventually detained and that's when the shots were fired from behind."

Eddie Miller is charged with three felonies for shooting the deputies and is being held without bond.

"I believe he was a friend of the suspect and he may have been upset we were detaining him due to the fact that he was discharging a firearm in the parking lot," Garrett recalled.

On the day of the shooting, he returned from a vacation in Mexico and went to his extra job.

"I had no idea I would never return home," Garrett said.

He is now in an electric wheelchair and lives with his mother, who helps him daily.

Garrett receives dialysis three times a week. He said he will be put on the kidney transplant list.

Despite not being able to walk right now, he said there is a strong possibility he will walk again. He said his spine needs time to heal itself, but he is already regaining feeling back in his legs.

"I'm waiting to be able to stand up and at least try to walk," Garrett said.

In the meantime, doctor appointments and medical equipment are his reality.

Within the last week, Generator Supercenter in Tomball installed a generator at Garrett's mother's home to ensure he does not lose power and access to the things he needs.

"We had an opportunity to step in and give him the power to help control his life and put him in a safer spot," their executive vice president Stephen Cruise said. "It was an easy decision."

Garrett is trying to stay positive, despite the challenges he faces because he said that is the only way to meet his goals.

One of his main goals is to return to the police force when he is able to.

"I put a lot of time and effort into becoming a police officer," Garrett explained. "It's not something that I want to throw away."

He said he enjoys hearing from his colleagues at Pct. 4.

"It lets me know they haven't forgotten about me," Garrett said. "It pushes me to get myself together and come back to work."

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