CLARKSDALE, Miss. (localmemphis.com) - It's been one year since a Clarksdale, Mississippi Police Officer was shot in the line of duty. Captain Derrick Couch was shot in the head while chasing two convenience store robbery suspects. He spent 67 days in Regional One, lost his left eye, and was in a wheelchair for six months. For the first time ever, Captain Couch and his wife Renita are sharing their survival story, exclusively with Local 24’s Tish Clark.
"I could've buried him a year ago but I didn't," recalls Captain Couch's wife Renita. She will never forget the phone call that changed her life. "They said 'well, Derrick got shot', but that's all they was giving me. They didn't say what happened or if he was alive or dead," said Renita.
Clarksdale police officer Derrick Couch was alive, but his injuries were massive. Renita's husband of nearly seven years lost his left eye.
"I didn't know I was gonna lose an eye. I woke up and my eye was gone. But I woke up. I woke up," said Derrick.
Derrick also suffered nerve and brain damage which affects his speech and motor skills. Part of which Derrick thinks may be a blessing in disguise.
He said, "I just don't remember it. I have to try to grab hold and try to get, try to get going by the grace of God."
Derrick recently finished physical therapy. He still has occupational and speech therapy several times a week.
"Therapy don't stop once we leave the outpatient building. This is where therapy really starts; at home. ‘Cause this is where you gotta get your life back," said Renita.
Derrick admits he's struggled to push himself some days. He's felt down and depressed, but says Renita won't let him give up.
"That brought a lot to my spirit too, man," said Derrick.
"I do at-home therapy exercises with him. And the thing about it with me is I don't just bark orders and tell him to go do it. I get down on the floor and do it with him," said Renita.
The couple says the outpouring of support has been invaluable in helping the both of them heal. Renita said, "It's absolutely a blessing that people continue to still think of us a whole year later and God placed it on their heart to continue to bless us and be a support system for us, because without them we wouldn't be in this position, amen, today."
"I just didn't know what to say, man. I just said thank God, man," said Derrick.
As for the future, Derrick Couch was recently promoted to captain. Although he's not able to go back to work yet, he's optimistic it will happen. "I'm gonna be returning back to work, back to work,” says Captain Couch.
In the meantime, the couple plans to renew their wedding vows next month.
"After his, you know, incident happened, we decided that we wanted to renew our vows to each other, because we just never knew what would happen in the future, and we wanted to remake those vows to each other again for better or for worse," said Renita.
Derrick to his wife... "I love you."
"Love you too," said Renita.
Here's the latest on the two suspects in Captain Derrick Couch's case; Johnny Robinson pleaded guilty to armed robbery and attempted murder on January 10th this year. Robinson admitted he was the shooter. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Leeandrew Booker is awaiting trial for armed robbery. His trial was supposed to start this week but it was continued. A new trial date hasn't been set yet.
Donations to help with medical expenses can still be made in Captain Derrick Couch's name at any Regions Bank branch.
A stronger Memphis that is the message…
A Local Crime Alert, at least two dogs, are being treated for severe…
The Memphis Grizzlies are getting ready for Game 5 of the playoffs…