Meanwhile, the Fraternal Order of Police Merrill-Bentley Memorial Lodge No. 79, is attempting to raise more money for Stovall’s family.
Stovall said the nerves in his legs are not regenerating as expected.
Since his last surgery in June, he hasn’t had a pain-free day, he said. He is trying to walk and has a brace that helps him, but it’s a painful process. However, Stovall said, that’s expected with any kind of physical therapy.
But with the results of his latest tests, Stovall said he may be facing more treatments, possibly in Minnesota. Doctors pushed back his return to work from December to the spring, he said.
Stovall, though, is hoping to return before spring, maybe in February, he said.
“There’s nothing like being back to work with the people I care about and doing what I love,” Stovall said.
Stovall was shot in the thigh Dec. 15 during a shootout with Romero Roberto Moya, 33, who police and sheriff’s deputies had chased to Oxford from Heflin after Moya had shot and killed his three brothers, wounded his own son and forced his wife into a car. Moya crashed at the scene of the shootout, stole a car from a passer-by, and was later shot dead by police following another crash.
The FOP lodge started a benefit fund for the family on Dec. 17, just days after the incident, said Heflin police Sgt. Kevin Turley. So, far it has raised $17,468.
The family can use the money for expenses associated with Stovall’s treatment, such as travel to Birmingham or Minnesota or to make up for lost wages, Turley said. Because of his injury, the family’s income has gone down and expenses have gone up, he said.
The officers wanted to support their fellow officer, Turley said.
“It’s part of that thin, blue line,” Turley said. “We don’t want to see anyone struggle.”
Stovall is grateful for the support from the community, both financially as well as through prayer and encouragement. He considers himself blessed even during this difficult year, he said.
“There’s no reason to feel sorry for me,” Stovall said. “I’m still here. I will never complain.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund can contact Small Town Bank in Heflin at 256-463-2790 for details.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.