Injured Nashville firefighter comes home for New Year - WKRN News 2

Injured Nashville firefighter comes home for New Year

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

It's a happy New Year for a critically injured Nashville firefighter who was discharged from the hospital on New Year's Day.

David Powell, a 27-year veteran of the Nashville Fire Department, was hurt last month while working to put out a house fire in east Nashville.

Powell went to replace his air tank and fell down a flight of stairs.  He hit his head and was unconscious when his partner found him.

Powell has no memory of what happened that night.

"All I know is I woke up at Vanderbilt. I was going to a call [and] then I woke up at Vanderbilt," Powell told Nashville's News 2.

Since the fire on December 6, Powell has been hospitalized, first at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and then later at Skyline Medical Center.

He underwent surgery and intense therapy while in the hospital.

At first, doctors told the family they were primarily worried about Powell's lungs because of all the smoke he inhaled.  Later, they discovered the father of three had suffered a brain injury from lack of oxygen and a bruised spinal cord from the fall.

He is left with no short-term memory because of the accident.

Powell was told he is lucky he wasn't paralyzed.

With his wife Connie by his side, Powell was welcomed home Tuesday by family members.

"It feels great," he told Nashville's News 2.

It was a homecoming an emotional Powell said he wasn't certain would happen.

"I didn't think I'd be back," he said.

Connie Powell is prepared for a long journey ahead of them.
"We've got a long road ahead of us but we're going to get there," she said.

For now, Powell is happy to finally be back home and says he has one man to thank for that.

"It's the man upstairs.  He took care of me," said Powell.

Fellow firefighter Capt. James Trollinger was also injured that night trying to help Powell.

He was treated and released from the hospital soon after.

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