SHALLOTTE, N.C. (WECT) – Officer Heather Newman was on patrol working for the Shallotte Police Department on Nov. 11 when she heard the call come in that would change her life.
“I did not pay it much attention until I received a call from several family members at once,” Officer Newman wrote to us. “It’s the call all mothers and cops dread. I was told both my boys were involved in an accident and my 15-year-old son, River was trapped and having seizures.”
Shane Mahler, 18, and his younger brother, River, were initially taken to a hospital in South Carolina where they were both put into medically induced comas.
“Shane was first and looked the worst,” Newman wrote. “I was told River was going to surgery and was possibly not going to make it.”
Shane is recovering, while River was moved to another hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.
Newman says her entire family has stepped in to help with her children in two separate hospitals in two separate cities and her daughter at home.
“River will eventually be transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Charlotte where we will stay for 6 months to a year. He has a very long road ahead of him but I’m not going anywhere.” Newman wrote.
While the family is facing most parents’ nightmare, Officer Newman says it’s been a wake up call during the season of thankfulness.
“I see now I wasn’t really living my life to its fullest but just going through the motions,” she wrote. “I didn’t truly appreciate anything or anyone as much as I should have. I didn’t take time to enjoy my kids or all the blessings in life. I am forever changed and grateful for a second chance to slow down and truly appreciate all that I have been given. I am grateful for my family, friends and community coming together to show their love and support for my boys.”
There are several community efforts underway to support the family.
The Shallotte Police Department is providing updates and information on its Facebook page.
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