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Phil Redden

Phil Redden
Posted on: 04/26/2022

It’s like being adopted by a big family

A routine traffic stop turned tragic when Phillips (Phil) Redden, who served as a police officer in the greater Boston area at the time, pulled over a car driving down a one-way street the wrong way. The driver of the vehicle fatally shot Phil’s sergeant, and then more gunshots rang out. Phil was hit in the side, with the bullet pinning his spinal cord against his spine. Miraculously, Phil survived and escaped permanent disability.

Though the shooting occurred during the Christmas season of 1978, the bullet remained lodged against Phil’s spine for more than 30 years.

“Back in the 70s surgeries weren’t as sophisticated as today. If it didn’t hurt, they often left things like that – and it never bothered me … until it came loose,” Phil said.

Paralyzed: A decades-later emergency

While walking down the hallway in his Salem home, Phil’s long-standing bullet somehow dislodged and Phil suddenly collapsed to the floor.

“I couldn’t feel anything from my waist down,” Phil said. “I didn’t know if I’d ever walk again.”

An ambulance rushed Phil to Mountain View Hospital, where Phil underwent a complex surgery to remove the bullet and attempt to restore Phil’s ability to walk.

Dr. Chad Farley, board-certified neurosurgeon, performed the cutting-edge procedure with precision.

“Dr. Farley used a fairly new technique to take out the spinal column so he could remove the pressure, the bullet and some nubs on the spine. He was very concise, and he explained everything to me – the operation, the prognosis and the rehabilitation process,” Phil said. “As soon as the surgery was over, I could wiggle my toes!”

Restored by Mountain View Hospital: An adopted family

Phil spent several days in Mountain View Hospital before heading to a rehabilitation facility.

“During my stay at the hospital, the nurses were fantastic, and the food tasted great.  It almost felt like being on a vacation since I was treated like a guest in a hotel. Of course, I would have liked to see a beach, but you know …” Phil smiled.

After fully recovering from the incident, Phil continues to have meaningful interactions with Mountain View Hospital team members. He says he often runs into them around town, in stores or at the post office.

“They always stop and ask me how I’m doing. It’s like I’ve been adopted by a big family,” Phil said.

Take me to the hospital with the star on it!

Since recovering from surgery, Phil has been back to Mountain View Hospital as a patient. He suffered a heart attack recently and had a stent put in. With each experience at the hospital, his gratitude grows.

“I’ll tell you, it’s unbelievable the care they give,” Phil said. “I will always say, ‘Take me to Mountain View Hospital’ – the one with the big star on top. That’s the only hospital in Utah I want to go to. I wouldn’t be here today without them. I just wish I could go out and buy every one of them a new car for Christmas.”

Phil Redden
Posted on: 04/26/2022

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