Paralyzed Pasco Co. deputy fights to walk again

Almost died in last month's crash

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - It was a single vehicle crash. Chris Fern, a Pasco Sheriff’s Deputy, was off duty when he lost control of his SUV. 

“I honestly don’t remember anything,” he said.

It rolled over 4 or 5 times and he was ejected. The injuries were bad.

“One to the head. Bunch of gashes down my leg. I had a few broken ribs,” he said.

Worst of all, a broken vertebrae that have left him without feeling below the waist. But he was alive.

“I tell people all the time, I’m lucky to be here,” Fern said.

Chris says his biggest fear was not being around for his girlfriend and their baby daughter. Malaya was just 2 months old.

“The first thing that crossed my mind was, you know, how is she going to go on without her dad,” said girlfriend Berina Dumanjic.

This isn’t the first time Chris has had to fight back.

A star pitcher from Zephyrhills, he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants. But his career ended because of an injury.

“That’s what I told my dad, at the time I thought my groin tear was bad. This is no joke,” he said.

After baseball, he came back home to serve his community.

But now that community is helping him in every way possible, especially his fellow deputies.

There is a GoFund Me page that’s already close to its $25,000 goal.

And there is a fundraiser December 9 at the FOP Lounge in Land O’Lakes. 

“Our motto is we fight as one. And to see it come to fruition. It’s just amazing.”

Chris is already way ahead on rehab. And his goal is return to work one day.

“I’m a pretty stubborn person. I will get up and around again, no doubt,” he said.

Until then, he is home. And despite everything, Chris is thankful. 

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