The Weare, New Hampshire, police officer who was shot on duty last week was discharged from the hospital Monday morning, speaking exclusively to NBC10 Boston about his harrowing experience.
The damage to Officer Paul Lewis's arm is extensive — he's already had one surgery and will need another. He's got a long road to recovery, but he's grateful because for a while there on Thursday morning, he said, he wasn't even sure he'd survive.
"Not every officer is as fortunate as I am, not all officers make it out alive," Lewis said Monday.
He was being escorted out of Concord Hospital by fellow officers and his mom.
In a wheelchair, with his right arm wrapped up, Lewis recalled the feeling of fear and uncertainty as he was rushed to the hospital.
"I couldn't count on anything," he said. "The whole ride, everything was unsure."
He had been shot while responding to a domestic violence call early Thursday morning.
"I got hit twice by two bullets and both of them went through," Lewis said.
His mother will never forget waking up to her worst nightmare.
"The phone rang at 4 a.m. and I saw a 603 number and I knew right away he got shot," Carole Lambert said.
But when she heard her son's voice on the other end, she knew he'd pull through.
"I wanted to get the words right, no one wants to scare their mom," Lewis said.
"He's so independent, he's so strong, he's got such a great attitude, he's going to be fine," Lambert said, smiling at her son.
The 27-year-old officer, just barely a year into his career, said this is simply the risk that comes with the badge.
"My longtime dream was to be a police officer, so this isn't going to stop me," he said.
And he can't wait to get back on duty.
"I will be forever grateful, forever lucky that I am getting a second chance," Lewis said.
He added that he's encouraged by the support that's been pouring in from across the country and hopes to be back on the job within six months.