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'It's unreal the love and support': Columbia officer learning to walk again after crash

Sgt. Christopher Morris suffered critical injuries in a car crash in August. Since then, community members have raised over $30K for medical expenses.

A Columbia Police Sergeant is learning to walk again.

Last month, Christopher Morris and his daughter McKinna, 9, suffered multiple injuries in a car crash in Orangeburg County. 

Almost immediately after, support poured in from the community.

News 19 caught up with Sgt. Morris Friday to learn when he can return home.

"That first day [in rehab] two weeks ago, I wouldn't have thought I could even stand up," said Morris in a Zoom interview Friday.

For the last two weeks, Morris has stayed at a local rehab hospital, gaining strength each day.

"The first thing they did the first day is, 'Let's get you to stand up.' That was the most painful thing I've ever done in my life I think," he said.

August 22, Morris was driving home from McKinna's softball tournament in Charleston. On the interstate in Orangeburg County is where the crash occurred. Morris says he doesn't remember how it happened.

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Credit: Sgt. Christopher Morris and daughter, McKinna (Courtesy: Sgt. Morris)

"It was all kind of a blur to me about what happened and what happened afterwards. All I know is there was a wreck," he explained. "I was talking to my daughter at one point. Then the next thing I know it was all dark, then I started hearing voices."

Both Morris and his daughter were sent to the hospital. 

Credit: Sgt. Christopher Morris and daughter McKinna (Courtesy: Sgt. Morris)

"I have bilateral femur fractures, so I have metal rods through both femurs and both hands are broke, they're in casts," said Morris. "I couldn't see anything for about a day or so anyway. I was blind. There was a lot of injury to my left eye and I guess the right eye just wasn't opening."

McKinna has since recovered from a spleen injury but is still being treated for third degree burns on her leg. Morris says she will have to go through several skin grafts for her injury, and currently she's dealing with an infection in her burns. He says McKinna is expected to make a full recovery.

"It stinks because I'm here in the hospital and I've seen her one time because of all the COVID restrictions," said Morris. "I can't have that many visitors, so I've gotten to see her one time since the accident."

His first priority is reuniting with his wife and three children.

Credit: Morris and his three children (Courtesy: Sgt. Morris)

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"I can continue to be not just a coach, but their mentor and their dad," said Morris. "That's the biggest thing. I just want to be able to do dad things."

During our interview, Morris smiled as he recalled two new nicknames he was given by his 6-year-old and 8-year-old sons.

"My son started calling me 'Two Face'," he said as he pointed to scars below his left eye. "My other son calls me 'Robo Cop' since I have the metal legs."

Morris says when he checked his phone after the crash, he was overwhelmed with messages.

"Someone said, 'Hey, you need to check Facebook too. The Rosewood community is already setting up a thing to raise money.' I was like, 'What?!'"

To date, more than $30,000 has been raised in two separate GoFundMe pages to help the Morris family with medical expenses.

Credit: Morris and his two sons (Courtesy: Sgt. Morris)

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Morris says McKinna has also received support from her softball organizations which have provided dinners for the family and put on a parade in front of the Morris home to welcome her back.

"You do the job to help people and you never really expect anything back," said Morris. "To see that coming back to me was, I don't even know how to explain it, it's unreal the love and support."

Right now, Morris can walk slowly with the assistance of a walker. He hopes to be back home in less than three weeks.

"I know all of my days now are bonus days. I just want to give back to all those who helped me during this time," said Morris. "No matter what, I will be back in uniform one day. I'm going to make that happen."