Perseverance keeps dream career on track for Albany County sheriff’s deputy

April 14, 2017 05:53 PM

An Albany County Sheriff's Deputy epitomizes perseverance. A devastating accident threatened to end his dreams of a career in law enforcement. How he recovered is an inspiration for all.

"I remember seeing him in the ICU and I was praying. When I walked out of there I didn't even know if he was going to make it," recalled Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

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"I would lay in the hospital bed and I was like, 'You know, I'm never going to be able to be a cop again.' But, you know I had that strong mentality and I just fought through it and I wasn't going to let my accident stop me from becoming a police officer which was my dream," explained Greg Stiglmeier.

On April 28, 2015, Stiglmeier was in a devastating motorcycle accident. His left foot had to be amputated. For a New York minute, he feared his lifelong goal of being in law enforcement would never be. However, this is a story of dreams come true despite adversity. Two months after the accident, he was fitted for a prosthetic.

"I think what worried me was to make sure that we did everything we could do to allow him to continue and basically achieve his goals," explained Bill Sampson with Sampson Prosthetics.

"So I got fitted for my leg. I started running, not at first, but I would go to the Voorheesville track every night. I would run, I would do my push-ups, my sit-ups," Stiglmeier explained.

WEB EXTRA: Sheriff's deputy and amputee talks about being a cop

When the call came to enter the police academy for the Albany County Sheriff's Department, he was ready.

"I don't even know if everybody knew he had a prosthetic. He just blew it right away," noted Apple.

He graduated in January 2017.

"My accident hasn't limited me at all," Stiglmeier pointed out.

Although always aware of the prosthetic, Stiglmeier says that's a small price to be living his dream, able to help others, which is why he wanted a career in law enforcement. That's why he shares his story of personal challenge.

"Keep positive, certainly have a strong outlook on it and you can accomplish anything you want," he proclaimed.

Sheriff Apple says he never doubted that Stiglmeier would succeed.Sampson says this is the first time his company has made a prosthetic foot for someone in law enforcement and Stiglmeier knows he beat the odds by surviving, so he's got plenty to give back.


Benita Zahn

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