PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland police officer who was paralyzed when a tree fell on him during training was honored Sunday for his service to the police bureau.
Officer Paul Meyer was participating in ATV training at Hayden Island on Nov. 19 when the tree fell.
His doctors do not believe Meyer will ever regain the use of his legs.
Sunday, Portland Police Chief Mike Reese presented Meyer with his 20 Year Service Pin in a ceremony at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. A room of family, friends and fellow officers gave him a standing ovation.
"I feel so fortunate just to have survived this thing and to be who I am still," said Meyer. "And to have this support is just what keeps us going, keeps me going every day, keeps the family going every day."
Meyer said he expects to be released from the hospital next month and will eventually go back to work for the police bureau.
"Things are good. I'm lucky to be alive. I'm lucky to be who I am."
In his 20 years, Meyer has served on the bureau's Special Response Team, which was organized to respond to riots. He's also been a sniper on the Special Emergency Reaction Team.
"I don't have limitations," said Meyer. "There aren't any. I'm just sitting down now. Kids got a little taller than me a little fast, but that's alright.
"There is so much to live for that it is unbelievable."
While Meyer's medical expenses will be covered, friends have set up a fund to help with other expenses, like converting the family's home and vehicles to allow wheelchair access.
If you would like to help out, an account has been established at Advantis Credit Union. Contributions can be made in person or mailed to any of the credit union's branches with the following information:
Officer Paul Meyer Fund
Account # 809390
You can also send cards to:
Portland Police Bureau SERT
Attn: Officer Meyer & Family
449 N.E. Emerson Street
Portland, OR 97211