LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Back in his own home and recovering. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Shay Mikalonis is surrounded by family supporting him on the long road to recovery. Mikalonis was shot and seriously injured during the Black Lives Matter protests last June.
Every step Officer Mikalonis takes, his family is right there with him.
“We just encourage him to move forward. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
His stepfather Patrick Neville says Shay is making tremendous progress after being shot in the head last June during a protest on the Strip. His injuries left Officer Mikalonis in very bad shape.
“When you think what had happened to him. It’s remarkable he’s still alive. The odds are so against people with those kinds of injuries,” he said.
But Shay persevered. He’s now able to speak on his own again after months of using a machine to talk to his family.
“So much was taken away from him from what occurred and to have your speech taken away from you on top of everything would have been devastating,” Neville said.
He credits the staff at Craig Hospital near Denver, Colorado. It’s considered one of the best in treating spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, He says the family learned from doctors how to take care of Shay.
“It gives you a level of confidence if you have an emergency and you kind of know what to do and not stand around and wait for somebody to come around to come help you,” he said.
Neville says there remains a long road to recovery for Shay. He remains in a wheelchair but is able to be with more family members and get fresh air outside in his backyard.
“People don’t realize how much of a big deal that is when you’ve been inside for four months looking at a window. So, I think it’s been very positive for him to be home,” he said.
To lift Shay’s spirits, Neville brought his stepson to see his fellow officers at the Convention Center Area Command earlier this month. Spending time with his friends meant a lot for Shay.
“It was a great turnout. Got to see his friends. Talking over about what’s been going on and catching on with what’s up with Metro since he’s been gone,” he said.
He’s also the feeling of love from the community. The message: He’s not alone.
“People have not forgotten about you. You still have a huge amount of community support and people respect what you and the officers that you work with do every day,” Neville said.
Neville says they’re taking it easy with Shay as he still requires a lot of care at home.