Lori Fullbright, News On 6
JENKS, Oklahoma -- A Jenks man is making remarkable progress after being stabbed in the neck and left for dead in his own drive-way just five weeks ago.
Austin walks with a limp, but he's lucky to be walking at all. In late July, he saw a man breaking into his truck in his driveway and went outside. He only had time to ask what was going on when the man stabbed Austin in the back of the neck with something, likely a screwdriver.
"Whenever it first happened, I thought I couldn't move at all," Austin said. "I was completely paralyzed until I got out of surgery."
When we first met Austin in the hospital, he was just beginning to move his toes and get feeling back in his left hand. Now, with the help of much physical therapy, his progress is even impressing his doctors.
He's very thankful for that progress, but still gets frustrated at what he's lost.
"As far as hunting, fishing - that's been put on hold," the crime victim said. "My pilot's license is on hold. I can't drive my truck. There's things I can't do that I did before, pretty much my whole life, even my job."
After I interviewed Austin in July, a Crime Stoppers tip named a possible suspect, so Jenks police put together a photo line-up for Austin.
"I went straight to the guy. They laid out all six photos, and I went straight to him," he said.
Police arrested that suspect on August 18th. They say he was caught breaking into another vehicle and had stolen stereos with him. He also had outstanding warrants.
Austin hopes the man is soon charged with the stabbing as well.
"Getting him off the streets is - as corny as it sounds - a big deal for the entire community because if he'll do it to me, he'll do it to someone else," Austin said.
Austin expects to make a full recovery, but says even if his progress stops right now, he'll be thankful he can do as much as he can.
Thankful to be alive at all.
We are not naming the suspect at this time, since he has not been arrested or charged in this case, but will update you if that happens.