CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The family of a Cheektowaga police officer who was struck by a stolen vehicle last month has shared a letter with the community detailing his recovery, including what’s ahead.
45-year-old Troy Blackchief was one of the officers helping Depew police end a pursuit related to stolen vehicles early in the morning of February 6. As part of his road to recovery, Blackchief’s family says he will need to receive a new skull bone, which will have to be “3D printed and surgically placed.”
Cheektowaga police officer struck by stolen vehicle faces “long and difficult” recovery
The Cheektowaga Police Department shared the letter on Facebook detailing the coming steps Wednesday morning:
To our family, friends and Troy’s supporters in this community,
It has been more than three weeks since the incident that occurred on Union Road, forever changing the lives of many.
We have so many people to thank including the officers who performed CPR in the field, the AMR crew who treated Troy in route to the hospital, the Emergency Department, Trauma and Neurosurgery doctors, nurses and care staff at ECMC and Gates Vascular Institute. You did great work to give him a chance at life.
We will be headed to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago to begin Troy’s rehabilitative journey. In addition to helping him find physical strength, they will help him form connections between the humans he recognizes and the role we have in his world. Our prayer is that he can recreate a life worth living. He is the most strong-willed person I know, and if anyone can find his way back, it’s Troy.
This part of recovery will be at least four weeks, likely longer. The next step thereafter is at least nine weeks out, when Troy returns to ECMC to have a cranioplasty. A new skull bone will be 3D printed and surgically placed.
Our two living children, Christian and Amaya, will be cared for primarily by Justin and Jana Blackchief, their uncle and aunt. I can’t imagine a day without them, but we depart for Chicago knowing they are capable and loving hands.
To our immediate families, friends and the Cheektowaga Police Department, your support has been immeasurable; and for our colleagues and community at St. Ann’s, Union Fire Company, St. Mary’s Elementary and West Seneca West, along with the many sports families we coach and play with, we are grateful. We will continue to let you know what we need as we figure it out. Each day is different, and our needs change regularly. One thing is for certain, your encouraging thoughts and ongoing prayers cannot be replaced.
Letter shared by the Cheektowaga Police Department
Blackchief had been deploying stop sticks on Union Road at Route 33 when he was struck.
A 17-year veteran of the Cheektowaga Police Department, Blackchief serves in the patrol division, as well as the SWAT team.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.