CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. - Three weeks after being shot in the face while on duty, Cleveland County Deputy Tim Sims said he can't wait to return to work.
Before Sims can return to serve and protect, doctors said he will need at least eight more weeks of recovery.
"I love what I do. There's a reason we do what we do and I'm ready to be back,” Sims said.
During his recovery time, Sims met President Donald Trump during his visit to Charlotte Friday.
"I think he was being genuine and sincere and I think he really cares about the law enforcement in this country and supports them 100 percent,” Sims said.
Sims considers himself lucky after he survived being shot in the line of duty and managed to make a recovery much faster than anyone could have imagined.
Doctors are amazed at how he’s been able to recover, calling the fact that he is still alive a “miracle.”
Sims spent days in the hospital after he was shot along Highway 74 last month.
“I've been looking it up and talking to doctors and they've told me that I'm basically a miracle,” Sims said.
The deputy was responding to a call about a man who was wanted on numerous probation and parole violations who had been spotted at the KM Auto Broker dealership.
Officials said the suspect, Dakota Gage Greene, was driving a car reported stolen from Randolph County.
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According to authorities, Sims found Greene and got into a confrontation with him. That's when the suspect pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot Sims in the face and thigh.
Sims said doctors told him only 3 percent of people survive a gunshot wound to the head.
On Sunday, Channel 9 spoke to Sims, who is not only surviving but thriving.
Sims and his wife sat side-by-side in their church Sunday, thankful for his recovery.
Sims said he credits his recovery to the hospital staff in Shelby and Charlotte, as well as the support from his newlywed wife and fellow deputies.
"In five months, we found out we're expecting twins, and then this incident happens, and I think that’s a lot to happen in five months of marriage,” Sims said. “I think God has really brought us closer together."
After the shooting, Sims said he can no longer hear out of his left ear and still experiences leg pain that doctors say should eventually go away.
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