Almost healed, Goose Creek officer ready to return to duty

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A shattered jaw was the least of his worries when Goose Creek Police officer Robert Edwards was shot in the line of duty.

It was just over three weeks ago when shotgun blasts sent neighbors running for cover and the officer to intensive care, fighting for his life. But Friday, he was at the Medical University of South Carolina for a medical check-up following surgery that repaired his jaw.  He is remarkably healed, and shakes the hand of the doctor who performed the surgery.

"I'm doing well," Edwards told Dr. Durwood Bach in the small room at the MUSC clinic.

The night Edwards was shot, a pellet when through his cheek, danced around inside his head and essentially crushed his jaw.

"From what I understand," Edwards said as he touched his jaw, "it hit that bone underneath the eye, ricocheted and shattered the jaw bone down here."

Edwards' teeth were wired together and the shattered jaw pieces were aligned using titanium plates and screws. The pellet that did all the damage had split in two when it hit his jawbone, and the pieces lodged in his neck.

"We don't make an attempt to remove them," said Bach.

Those bullet fragments shouldn't pose a problem for Edwards.  While Dr. Bach examined Edwards, he asked his patient to bite down.

"So his bite, you see is as it was prior to any injury and he's able to open," Bach said.

Before surgery, Edwards had not been able to talk or eat well.  Edwards said the injury even affected his equilibrium.  "I was wobbly when I stood up but that's gone, now," he said.

Making a remarkable recovery a little more than three weeks after coming close to death, Edwards says he is grateful.  "Someone was watching over me," he said.

Bach says his team was "honored" to be able to help the officer.

Edwards is waiting to get the go-ahead to return to work.

"I will be putting a uniform back on.  I will be back on the streets, and I will be doing the job that I left," he said.

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