When a Tennessee deputy saw a truck barrelling toward him and his wife, he quickly shoved her out of the way, willing to sacrifice himself to save his love. Twenty-three days after the tragic crash, a miracle occurred.
Anderson County Deputies Lucas and Nicole Shoffner were fixing a dirt bike on the side of the road at night when off-duty Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Surber accidentally plowed into the young couple with his 2017 Chevrolet Silverado. The crash was horrific, leaving both the husband and wife injured.
Nicole was transported to Fort Sanders for a minor head injury, and Lucas was rushed to the UT Medical Center Transplant Intensive Care Unit for critical head injuries, WBIR reported. His condition was so dire that doctors placed him in a medically induced coma in the hopes that they could stabilize him. It was then that officials revealed what had happened that fateful evening.
As a personal friend of the couple, Loudon County Deputy Matt Fagiana broke the news that Lucas had shoved Nicole out of the way just before the crash, saving her life while potentially sacrificing his own. As a result, Lucas sustained the brunt of the impact.
“Let’s start praying for our buddy. If anyone is deserving of a second chance at life, it’s this guy. He’s kind, he’s loyal, he’s funny and he’s as strong as a damn ox,” Fagiana said. “You got this Lucas and we are behind you and Nicole every step of the way.”
Lucas continued “fighting for his life” in the ICU with a brain bleed and multiple fractures as his wife prayed that he would pull through. He required risky brain surgery to relieve the swelling, and doctors weren’t certain if he would recover. Three weeks after the incident, however, the couple experienced a miracle.
After 23 long days in a coma, Lucas woke up. Although still sedated, doctors held confidence that the young deputy was making incredible progress.
“They removed the right part of his skull. He’s been pretty stable ever since,” Nicole said in a video update. “It’s looking pretty positive if we can get through the next 48 hours.”
Lucas spent another 17 days in the ICU before Nicole was given the news that her husband had healed enough to be transferred to a rehabilitation center. She then joined her husband at a rehab facility in Atlanta, where Lucas would have a long road ahead of him. Still, she was amazed at his miraculous recovery and remained by his side.
Word spread of Lucas’ heroic act, and soon the nation came together to help the couple. A friend of the couple set up a Go Fund Me, which raised just under $100,000 within a couple of months.
Months after the accident, Nicole was reportedly still unable to stand without immense pain. Still, she said she was grateful to be alive and credited her survival to her husband Lucas, who was slowly making progress but faced a lifelong battle.
It’s unclear just how debilitating Lucas’ injuries were and what his life will look like as a result of the crash. However, Nicole refused to leave his side, instead taking their joint recovery one day at a time.
There is no greater love than one who would sacrifice their life for another, and Lucas perfectly embodies this platitude. He and his wife spent years putting their lives on the line for their community, and thankfully, the community has since stepped up to show their appreciation.