Palm Beach County, Fla. - For over a month Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy has remained silent about a boating accident that almost took her life, until now.
Deputy Cheryl Griffin spent almost two weeks on life support and lost her right arm after crashing her 20 foot boat into a dock north of Donald Ross Road. A boat on a dry lift fell down on her crushing her arm and causing multiple injuries.
"I'm fortunate God blessed me for whatever reason I have more to do, I am happy to be alive," she said.
It's positive thinking from Deputy Cheryl Griffin as she spoke by phone from the hospital bed in her living room.
"I'm just kind of not mobile at the moment, I can't do everything right now," she said.
Her pictures show an image of Cheryl no one ever expected to see. Her right arm amputated just below her shoulder. Her long hair now short and a halo of screws keeping her broken neck intact.
"The screws themselves actually screw into my skull I can't move at all," she revealed.
Cheryl says her daily activity consists of doctor appointments, nurses and a lot of rest. A big difference from the life she once led as a road patrol officer.
"I love my job, the people I work with. I will never be able to do road patrol again because of my amputation," she admitted.
Cheryl's life changed the afternoon of June 12, 2010. It was just around 4 p.m. when she and a friend were out on the water having a good time. In a statement to police her friend and passenger, Melissa Burdeen, says Cheryl hit a piling at the dock after over-correcting. Cheryl recalls little.
"I am so thankful I didn't hurt my friend she walked away fine, the only thing I remember was falling from the seat on the boat to the back of the boat where I hit my head pretty hard," Cheryl said.
She spent just under a month in the hospital but says her recovery will take much longer. "I get tired very easily, it's still pretty new."
Cheryl says her family, friends and the community have been her backbone through her difficult transtition. "They're just thankful they're not going to a funeral."
She says she is remaining faithful and wants everyone to know one thing. "I'm going to be OK."
There is a fund set up at SunTrust Bank were people can make donations. The name on the fund is "Prayers for Cheryl Dery Griffin."
There is also a motorcycle run and BBQ benefit for Cheryl on Sunday, August 15th from 11a.m. to 6p.m. at the F.O.P. Lodge on 62nd Drive North in West Palm Beach.
It's $25 per bike and check-in is at 8. For more information you can also call the sponsor of the event Heather Simmons at (561) 723-5484.
Copyright 2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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