SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (1/11/2018) - He's back.
Shiawassee County Central Dispatch is celebrating the return of Troy Gorden, who received a donated kidney in early December from a woman whose emergency call he handled 16 years earlier.
Gorden, a long-time public servant, was forced to retire due to his health before the transplant. But he returned to the job this week.
He doesn't have a clean bill of health yet and still has to wear a mask on the job. But, he and his coworkers couldn't be more grateful he's back where he belongs.
"It's very exciting," Gorden said. "It hasn't been like everything else, it hasn't been a roller coaster. It's just good to be able to come back and occupy my time and do what I enjoy doing."
Gorden was forced to retire nearly three years ago after one of his kidneys began to fail. The days have gone by slowly since then.
"Dialysis, in and out of the hospital wasn't for the most part real pleasurable, but that's what I had to do to get where I'm at today," Gorden said.
His coworkers are happy to have him back.
"To be able to get this is a miracle, it's an absolute miracle," said Shiawassee County Central Dispatch Director Pamela Battinkoff. "You know, we were really scared for him for awhile. And we just thank God that he got the kidney and he's coming back."
She describes Gorden as one of her best dispatchers.
"We'll do whatever we have to, but absolutely we want him to really, completely, 100 percent recover and just fully be back to work and ready to go," Battinkoff said. "I mean, he is a huge benefit to society and to this center."
Gorden will be working part-time for the next few weeks training on the new equipment and working to build up his strength so he can eventually handle a full 12-hour shift again.
Shiawassee County's new 911 Central Dispatch facility, which opened this week, also hastened Gorden's return. The 4,000-square-foot former Red Cross office replaces a 240-square-foot nook located in the county jail building.
"If I was going to go back in that old 911 center, they were not going to let me go back before 6 months -- just too much exposure and risk there versus here," Gorden said.