FOOTHILLS RANCH (CBSLA) – A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy said a surprise gift Tuesday is “one of the best Christmas presents” he has received.
Deputy Garrett Rifkin was heading to the LASD’s West L.A. station in August when he was struck on his motorcycle.
“I remember flying through the air,” he later recalled. “I remember hitting the ground. I remember the whole thing.”
Rifkin, who has been with the department for about four years, said the driver got out of his car but left him there on the ground before fleeing the scene. The impact of the crash required his left leg be amputated below the knee. He has since used a prosthesis to walk, working every day to recover with a fighting spirit.
But now, he’ll be able to do more than just walk.
Rifkin received a state-of-the-art running prosthesis at a ceremony in Foothill Ranch. He said he had been dreaming about running again someday, and that dream became a reality Tuesday.
The Össur manufacturing company collaborated with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the deputy’s family to surprise Rifkin.
“This is gonna be a game changer, it’ll help me get back in the gym, get back to running,” Rifkin said. “Honestly, this is probably one of the best Christmas presents I’ve gotten. It gets your life back to normal.”
The deputy said he plans to use the prosthesis in the 2019 Baker to Vegas 120-mile run.
Those interested in donating to the online fundraiser for Rifkin can click here.
The hit-and-run driver was ultimately found and is facing up to four years in prison.