DeSoto County deputy badly injured in accident says he’s grateful for support

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — A severely injured DeSoto County deputy is sharing his story of recovery.

Back in February, investigators say deputy Austin Eldridge was helping to change a tire off I-269 when he was struck by a drunk driver. One of his legs had to be amputated.

“There’s no way for you to really expect this to happen to you,” Eldridge said, walking us through his journey. “You know I never would’ve thought that at 27 years old, I’d be missing a leg and be struggling to get through day-to-day tasks.”

His injuries are forcing him to re-learn basic skills.

“I had a left leg amputated above the knee, right leg severely injured with a lot of hardware and a lot of bone reconstruction and my spleen has been taken out as well,” he said. “It’s been, it’s been rough. There’s been a lot to get through.”

Eldridge says he has good days and bad days but he’s thankful.

“The Lord has blessed me with being born again and, you know, first and foremost I just try to stay looking at him. He keeps me strong,” Eldridge said.

He also credits his wife, Ashley, pregnant with their first child, a son, due in July. 

“She’s been my rock through this whole thing. I wouldn’t be able to make it through some of these days without her,” he said.

He says he does his best to stay upbeat. 

“There’s always someone that’s got it worse than you somewhere, so you just gotta keep a positive attitude in mind. And that’s part of the recovery process, so I just try to stay positive as much as I can. It’s not always easy but I do my best.”

He has a message to the community, which has been helping his family.

“It literally had me in tears in the hospital when I was just scrolling through Facebook, when I see the support we were being given and the prayers and the fundraisers and all the things people were doing. Cannot say enough words to say thank you for that,” Eldridge said.

When asked if he will come back to work he said, “absolutely, can’t wait. As soon as I can.”

There is no date right now for when that could be. 

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