After he was shot during a July 17, 2016, ambush that left three fellow officers dead, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tullier wasn’t expected to survive, but a year after the attack, Tullier has proven he’s a fighter and continues to defy the odds.
Doctors first believed Tullier, who was shot in the head, stomach, and shoulder, would die within a matter of hours, but he survived. Doctors then felt Tullier would spend his life in a vegetative state, but when he was transferred to a Houston hospital several months after the shooting, he was conscious and aware of his surroundings.
Still, it appeared Tullier’s limbs were paralyzed, but he now actively participates in therapy, which has helped to restore some movement in his arms and legs, according to a story by the Associated Press.
The 42-year-old father of two smiles and laughs. He nods his head to answer yes or no, because, thus far, he’s been unable to speak. However, as Tullier continues to prove his prognosis wrong, he recently uttered “hello.”
“He’s got a very, very long road ahead of him, but he hasn’t given up,” said Tullier’s father, James. “He’s going to fight.”
In addition to his father, Tullier’s support system is made up of his mother, Mary, and his fiancee, Danielle McNicoll, all of whom moved from Baton Rouge to Houston to be by Tullier’s side as he undergoes rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann, which is considered the top rehabilitation hospital in Texas and number two in the nation. James Tullier said his son is their world right now, and wherever he goes, that is where they will make their home.
McNicoll noted in a Facebook post Monday, “We have watched Nick come back to us little by little every day since the shooting. Every day with Nick is a day we were told we would not have.”
In the post, she recalled the details of the fateful day one year ago, but also looked ahead to the future.
“No, this isn’t the life we planned together. Our plan included being married by now, moving to Florida, enjoying Disney World and the beach. Those things will come one day,” McNicoll concluded.