Local News

Laurinburg Officer Beating the Odds

Posted August 7, 1998

— A Laurinburg police officer faced death head-on -- and won. Six weeks ago, Sgt. Doug Bowen was shot in the abdomen with an assault rifle. Doctors said he would die. But instead, he recovered and has just gone home to his family.

Surrounded by family members and therapists, Bowen wheeled himself out of a Fayetteville rehabilitation center. Bowen wasn't up to speaking, so he let his wife do the talking for him:

" [I] can't wait to get him home and keep him home and take care of him for as long as it takes," Phyllis Bowen admitted.

Sgt. Bowen was tabbed the "miracle man" because doctors who first treated him told family members he would probably die.

"That first morning, they didn't think he'd make it past that first hour because the bleeding couldn't get stopped, and things just started going right," Mrs. Bowen recalled.

The Bowens' 6-year-old daughter, Rebecca, insists on helping with her father's rehabilitation.

"She told me coming over here that she wanted to watch them change the dressings and watch what they had to do, because once he came home, we have to take care of daddy," Bowen explained. "And she stood there and watched them do everything one evening and didn't flinch."

Phyllis Bowen says her family's experience should be a wake-up call for other couples.

"We've been married for quite a while and been together, and it's something that you take for granted that they're coming home every night," admitted Bowen.

Doctors don't know if he'll ever be able to walk again. Doug Bowen says it's a goal he's determined to achieve.

Bowen was shot while securing a crime scene. The man who shot him then turned the gun on himself.

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