MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A close call and a serious injury has given a police officer in Mobile a new outlook on life. University of South Alabama Police Officer Kenneth Johnson Jr. works a beat providing security for the very same hospital that saved his life. Just walking around on hospital property, on his own two feet, is a major accomplishment for Johnson.

“Being in law enforcement, your body is your biggest tool, you have to be able to move around and assist in certain ways,” said Johnson.

In March 2021, Johnson was hit by a truck on Cottage Hill Road. The collision smashed bones, brought him to the brink and put his policing future in jeopardy.

“To kind of grow from that moment, not knowing where I would be, if I’d be able to come back to work to here!” said Johnson with enthusiasm.

It was such a close call that Johnson got married in the hospital to his now wife Diamond Johnson, realizing how short life could be.

“I wanted to make sure I left something back for her and then we found out we’re pregnant and it was just a whole lot of emotions all at once,” said Johnson.

After weeks at University Hospital and later physical rehab, Johnson said he’s pretty much back to the shape he was in before the crash and his family has grown.

“Family meaning my USA health family, my University Family, everyone chipped in and helped me and did an amazing job,” said Johnson.

Officer Johnson said, because of the trauma he experienced, he can better empathize with the people he comes in regular contact with at the hospital.

“People are coming from traumatic and catastrophic events in their lives, and going through what I went through,” said Johnson. “It helps me move forward in the position I’m in now.”

He’s part of the USA fabric as a member of the Jaguar’s first football team, a police officer at the university, and his image is one of the dozens of people emblazoned on the front of the Trauma Fanny Meisler Trauma Center at University Hospital.