Wounded MN police officer takes first steps on his own

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 3:44 AM CDT
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The Waseca Police officer shot and severely wounded by a suspect last January continues to get stronger and more physically able as he rehabs at an out-of-state facility.

Arik Matson's sister-in-law Nicole posted an update on his CaringBridge site Thursday, describing the steps he's taking, despite being unable to visit with friends and family due to COVID-19.

Matson is still using various walkers and technology to walk, but is doing so with less and less assistance. In fact, says Nicole Matson, he took about 10 steps without any help last week, and this morning started work on climbing stairs. "Arik was really excited to share the news with us and it's apparent that making that progress and hitting his goals makes him even more motivated to continue and hit more!," wrote his sister-in-law. "He's been in better spirits and excited to see his family once they lift the Covid restrictions."

The officer is still struggling a bit with double vision in his left eye, and is wearing patches on and off to help strengthen eye muscles and correct his vision.

Staff members are working on Arik's cognitive abilities and independence as well, encouraging him to make decisions on daily therapies, activities and self care. Doing things like fishing, shooting hoops, weight training and making crafts for his daughters helps pass some of the alone time.

Matson is said to love the cards and care packages he's getting from family and friends, and last week received a set of official team gear from the Vikings and their equipment manager.