MISSOULA – A Montana Highway Patrol trooper who was shot multiple times is making strides in his recovery after regaining consciousness.
Trooper Wade Palmer is moving to a Neuro Acute Care Center in Salt Lake City, where he will continue treatment from gunshot wounds more than two weeks ago.
Although there’s still no long term prognosis for his recovery, MHP says they remain hopeful and are “immensely grateful” for his progress.
Trooper Palmer, Casey Blanchard, Julie Blanchard and Shelly Hayes were all shot more than two weeks ago. Hays passed away and the three others continue to recover.
There was a breakthrough in Trooper Wade Palmers recovery on Tuesday as he regained consciousness.
Trooper Palmer has been in critical condition for the past two weeks and now his medical status has improved to stable condition.
He was shot in the neck, face, and head on March 15, after locating a suspect involved in an earlier shooting which injured two and killed one in Missoula.
Trooper Palmer was immediately taken to St. Patrick Hospital and was ultimately flown to Salt Lake City where he continues to be treated.
Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes reports all of Trooper Palmer’s interactions have been non-verbal, but he has shown recognition of certain people and commands.
He is scheduled for reconstructive surgery for jaw injuries – and that surgery is expected to happen this Thursday.
Trooper Palmer has been moved from the University of Utah Hospital’s Neurological Critical Care Unit to the Neuro Acute Care Unit — which specializes in care for patients recovering from neurological trauma.
Trooper Palmer and his family have a long road ahead of them however family and friend remain hopeful as he makes these positive strides.
The head of the Montana Highway Patrol, Colonel Tom Butler, says they will be with him and his family every step of the way and they thank the public for the continued support and prayers.
Reporting by Kent Luetzen for MTN News