Atlanta police officer nearly killed by ATV opens up about ‘rollercoaster’ of recovery

Doctors thought Officer Max Brewer may not ever be able to walk again after an ATV launched him 50 feet last May amid the protests.

Coming upon one year later, he is standing on his own two feet with the help of a walker. 

"For whatever reason, they say at the last minute, he made that turn towards me," Brewer said of 42-year-old Avery Goggans, the man police charged with hitting him with the ATV. 

Brewer still has a long road to recovery ahead of him. He has had three surgeries with a fourth planned later this month. 

SEE ALSO: Officer struck by ATV during protest stands to receive Purple Heart

While he is back on the job doing light duty, the well-respected member of the Atlanta Police Department Motor Unit is determined to get back on his motorcycle one day. 

"The doctor said probably another year or so. I told him he lying," Brewer said. "I’m gonna get on before then." 

Brewer was surrounded by his fellow officers at a news conference on Friday afternoon in south Atlanta, many of them of who were at the scene on the night of May 30, 2020.

"To be quite honest with you, I think there were plenty of us who thought we lost Max that night," said Lt. Tom Mazert. "I had his head in my hands with his eyes closed and when they finally started blinking and he started blinking again, you know, what a blessing." 

SEE ALSO: Officer struck by ATV describes his long road to recovery

Brewer said on top of the physical injuries he is working to overcome, he is also dealing with the emotional toll. He described symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It’s an emotional rollercoaster," he said. "One day I’m angry, one second I’m crying. It’s just, it’s up and down."

Lt. Mazert shares Brewer’s confidence that he will soon be back on his police motorcycle. 

"I can tell you without a doubt, one hundred percent that Max will be back at work," Mazert said. "There’s not a doubt in my mind." 

The officers praised the National Guard, which rolled up moments after Brewer was struck in a humvee and rushed him to Grady Memorial Hospital. 

"I’m blessed. I’m blessed," Brewer said, beginning to choke up. "A lot of that have to do with all the prayers and people wishing me well. That’s what kept me basically, pushing forward."

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