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Jacksonville officer injured in crash that killed wife honored

Jack Adams says his kids are his biggest motivation

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Memorial Hospital staff packed the facility's auditorium Wednesday afternoon to hear messages from about 10 special patients for the hospital's Trauma Survivor's Day.

It was a time to honor those who have survived traumatic injuries -- recognizing their fight to recover and reunite them with their hospital caregivers.

RELATED: Mandarin High grad & other trauma survivors share recovery stories

Jacksonville police officer Jack Adams was among the honorees, visiting for the first time with some of his caretakers since the car crash that killed his wife, Cathy Adams, and left him temporarily paralyzed.

"I want to thank everyone here who had a role in getting me to this point," Jack Adams said onstage after receiving an award from the hospital.

In March, News4Jax sat down with Jack Adams and his two children, as they described what happened while traveling home from a December trip to Orlando.

PREVIOUS STORY: Law enforcement family picking up the pieces after deadly crash

A suspected drunk driver hit their SUV, pinning Jack Adams underneath it. The children sustained minor injuries.

Jack Adams was rushed to Memorial Hospital, unconscious and unable to move from his neck down.

Less than a week later, he was heading to Brooks Rehabilitation Center for strength training.

"Without them, obviously, I wouldn't be here," Jack Adams said. "The level of care they give here at Memorial Hospital is second to none."

Jack Adams said he's still working on strengthening his arm movements and that his kids are his biggest inspiration.

"Being able to be the parent that I was prior to my accident," Jack said. "To give them what they need from their father -- that's my biggest motivation."

He said his teenagers Jake and Holly are both doing well and looking forward to the upcoming summer break from school.

Jack was also very appreciative of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, where he is back at work on light duty in the aviation unit.

"From the sheriff on down to my immediate supervisors, through this whole process, they have truly been a family."

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.