‘Stoked’: Injured cop returns to work
BEAMING ear-to-ear with a perfect pearly white smile as he walked into his first day on the job, Constable Peter McAulay was almost unrecognisable as has returned to duty after 18-months of recovery following a cruel and calculated act of violence that left him fighting for life.
It was an image of stark contrast to the wheelchair-bound, toothless Constable McAulay of 2018, who was lucky to survive the moment he was hit and dragged several metres by a stolen car while laying road spikes in an attempt to stop the two teens at the wheel.
As he returned to work, the resilient Constable McAulay, who never lost passion for life or the service, spoke about how the power of mateship kept him strong during his recovery.
"I think just having that mateship there and having someone in your corner fighting for you and having your back is bloody worth its weight in gold," Constable McAulay said.
"I've been looking forward to this moment for the last 18 months.
"My main goal was to get back to work and here I am, stoked."
The officer was put in an induced coma after his life was turned upside on September 28, 2018.
He suffered critical head injuries, displacement of the brain, spinal injuries, broken bones, a dislocated cheek, hearing loss. And he lost multiple teeth.
Constable McAulay had to undergo at least 10 surgeries to get him to where he is today- stationed back at work in Booval, west of Brisbane.
McAulay's colleague and Senior Sergeant at the station Greg Shaw said there were times when he didn't believe it would be possible for his mate to return to duty.
"We've been looking forward to this day for a long time, and we got our mate back," he said.
"In the early days we didn't even think that would be a possibility."
Constable McAulay went through many phases of rehabilitation.
"I was bedridden for the first couple of months then in a wheelchair and crutches," he said.
"I had to go through all those process and all the rehabilitation."
Through it all, Constable McAulay didn't give up. And, he encouraged anyone else going through something similar, or even those at home in social isolation to keep positive.
"Find new hobbies, set new goals, just try to create your own purpose in your life - even though everything's been turned upside down on it's head at the moment."
Originally published as 'Stoked': Injured cop returns to work