Disabled Police Officer Forms Organization to Aid "The Forgotten Ones": Injured First Responders

Ryan Kendall launches Injured Sheepdogs to provide financial support, resources and a listening ear to emergency personnel hurt on the job
By: Injured Sheepdogs
Ryan Kendall, founder of Injured Sheepdogs
Ryan Kendall, founder of Injured Sheepdogs
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - May 24, 2021 - PRLog -- Ryan Kendall grew up wanting to be a police officer. He lived his dream for six years … until July 19, 2019.

On his first call that day as a West Allis officer, Kendall suffered a traumatic spinal injury taking a combative suspect into custody. He immediately suffered partial paralysis. After two spinal surgeries and endless hours of therapy, he regained his ability to walk. He'll forever need a brace on his left leg.

Kendall hasn't forgotten his darkest days during a two-year recovery. Depression, anxiety and panic attacks set in. Medically retired from law enforcement since December, he wants to ensure that no injured first responder – the "forgotten ones," as he calls them – faces these challenges on their own.

Kendall, 38, has launched Injured Sheepdogs, an organization dedicated to helping first responders navigate the tumultuous journey after being injured on the job. Injured Sheepdogs will assist via direct financial support, referrals to outside resources, or just providing a listening ear.

"We recognized a gap where injured first responders are often unintentionally forgotten," Kendall said. "Most first responders are hesitant to reach out to a co-worker about personal issues. Our research found some national resources, but not much closer to home. We want to bridge the gap and help them get through a very challenging time."

While working to recover physically, Kendall (https://www.injuredsheepdogs.com/about) ran the gamut of emotional peaks and valleys: shock, denial, anger, determination to "beat the odds" and return to work, and depression after realizing he couldn't do so. Therapy started him on the road to emotional recovery.

Injured Sheepdogs is funded by donations and sales of merchandise (https://www.injuredsheepdogs.com/products) on its web site. The organization's 501(c)3 application is pending.

"We plan to primarily direct our financial support to personnel waiting on resolution of their duty disability application, which can take months if not years," Kendall said. "Meanwhile, our phone is available 24/7 to aid first responders who need someone to talk with, who understands what they're experiencing."

More information on Injured Sheepdogs is available at www.injuredsheepdogs.com, by calling (414) 699-9076, or following the organization on Facebook.

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