Douglas County Detective Dan Brite died twice.
Once after being shot last September when confronting a suicidal man who was firing at officers and bystanders. He had no vital signs when he arrived at the hospital that day.
He died a second time after surgeons brought him back only to lose him again on the operating table. Now, Brite is paralyzed from the waist down, but alive.
He hopes to walk again.
“Before this happened I had a very high motor and liked to be on the go all the time,” Brite told 9NEWS.
He misses what life used to be, who he used to be.
“I was always out doing stuff, to go from that to being - what's the word I'm looking for - very still, unable to go out and do all the things that I love to do and being basically stuck in this chair, it’s very hard to overcome,” Brite said.
For Brite to be here is already a miracle, but he just needs one more.
“They gave me less than one percent chance of survival and I beat that,” he said. “Then they said I have about a 2 to 3 percent chance of walking. So my odds from my perspective just doubled, tripled. I'm going to go with that. Try everything I can to walk.”
Generous people from all over the metro area have been helping the Brite family ever since the incident.
Innovative co-workers from facilities management in Douglas County have helped Brite get back on his feet, if only just for a few minutes at a time.
“They came up with this standing desk that I’m able to stand up in, put a strap behind my back, I can lean back on the strap and now I’m hands-free,” Brite said. “So I’m able to type, do everything on my desk while I’m standing, which is amazing. Because that helps relieve a lot of pressure on my back. Helps take away some of the pain from sitting for so long.”
But Brite loves being outside.
“Before this incident happened, I just got my hunter safety card, was planning on going hunting, I love skeet shooting,” he said.
Inside, he feels trapped.
“With this kind of wheelchair I'm in now, I'm strictly stuck to concrete and fair weather,” he said.
“To get into an (Action) Trackchair that will take me over snow and rocks and hills and grass and dirt and mud, just takes me through everything, just having that kind of independence and the freedom is awesome,” Brite said.
The chair was actually the idea of John Adsit, the founder of Adsit Strong Foundation, a former Denver Police officer and the survivor of a serious work-related injury. Adsit was run over by a speeding driver, who police say should not have been behind the wheel after he lied about his medical condition.
The new chair will help Brite get a piece of his life back, a piece of him back.
“When I was in Parker Hospital in ICU, I begged them to take me outside a lot,” he said. “To be outside and have the sun hit your face, it's pretty cool.”
Adsit told 9NEWS up to $2,000 more is needed to get adaptive accessories for Brite’s chair, including a ramp for Brite’s truck and different treads for the chair.
If you want to help, you can earmark your donation to Brite by going to this link. You can donate until October 31.
Adsit said when Brite walks again, he will donate the chair to the next person who needs it.
Brite said he can’t wait for that.
In the meantime, he’s expected to get his own custom Action Trackchair in mid-October.
Until then, another kind person is letting Brite borrow his Action Trackchair chair.