Deputy Who Lost Sight Gets Help From Local Dog
Hembree, Sampson Meet In Columbus
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Alabama deputy who lost his eyesight can walk thanks to a new friend he found in Columbus, NewsChannel 4's Monique Ming Laven reported.Last November, a woman whose boyfriend was pulled over for suspected drunken driving allegedly aimed her car at Tuscaloosa, Ala., Deputy Cliff Hembree (pictured, right) and hit him.
"I broke all the bones around (my) eye, left shoulder, all
ribs, left knee, (and) lost 31 liters of blood," Hembree said.
Hembree spent a month in a coma. Many surgeries, therapy
sessions and tears later, he made a long trip to pick up his new
best friend who he may never actually see. Hembree is now blind, but
he arrived in Columbus this week to find Sampson, his new guide dog.
Hembree And Sampson
Sampson is now learning to guide Hembree, whose sheriff in
Tuscaloosa used to work for Franklin County.
"It's been a wonderful experience learning the techniques,"
Hembree said. "There's a lot to learn."
Hembree used to be an avid runner. Now, he and Sampson must
learn to take every journey step by step -- with occasional
"He loves women, and he goes crazy over some of the women
here," Hembree said.
Hembree said the 600-mile trip to Columbus was worth it, and
with Sampson's help he'd like to prepare for a 26-mile journey.
"I want to run a marathon with my sheriff," Hembree said. "I
tell him I want to run one."
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