School closings: Several districts closed Wednesday

Having overcome fight with flesh-eating bacteria, Lee’s Summit detective, department thank medical staff

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- With the perspective of 10 months of treatment behind him, Detective Josh Ward still finds it difficult to grasp exactly what happened last April.  He was diagnosed with Necrotizing Fasciitis.  Bacteria was eating skin and muscle on his body.  Detective Ward endured 28 procedures, but he didn't do it alone.

“I've never seen the outpouring that the Lee`s Summit Police Department provided for Detective Ward during his time of need,” said Dr. Scott Sagraves, the Medical Director for Trauma Surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Dr. Sagraves remembers seeing members of the police department by Josh's side nearly every hour of every day, and of course, his family was there constantly, too.

“Josh and his family became part of our family,” said Dr. Sagraves.

Josh came out of the procedures missing a few toes, a thumb, some muscles, and skin, but amazingly, he has a chance to get back to the job he loves, being a police officer.

“Being an officer is a big part of who I am, so I miss it more than I could probably even tell you right here.  I just can`t wait to get back in any way I can,” said Detective Ward.

For this gift of a full life, Detective Ward and the Lee's Summit Police Department thanked the nearly 80 medical professionals who helped him through his long stay at the hospital during an award ceremony Tuesday.

“I feel grateful to be through it and done with it,” said Ward.

He also feels grateful toward the many people in Lee's Summit and beyond who offered help to him and his family, but the man who protects and serves wants to turn the attention to other police officers and firefighters who may need their help now.

“I encourage people to think about them and give to them and so on.  We`re doing pretty good and we`re pretty much back to normal so thanks for everything, but others need help too,” said Ward.