PHOENIX - An injured deputy was recognized Wednesday for putting his life on the line.
In May 2003, Deputy David Wargo was working an off duty job at a West Valley Safeway, when he noticed a suspicious man in a car.
When he approached the man, he took off and dragged Wargo several yards.
The deputy fell and hit his head on a curb. It left Wargo with severe head and brain injuries.
Since then, Wargo has been paralyzed.
Things are not getting better. He’s been diagnosed and treated with pneumonia in the past and sometimes has a hard time breathing.
"The doctor tells me that eventually he'll have a stroke because of the lack of not having oxygen go into his brain, so it's kind of like a waiting game,” said his wife Lisa, who was also a deputy with the sheriff's office. Because Wargo needs 24-hour care, she left her job.
The couple has three sons.
"When he was taken, I've just had the little one and he was 5 weeks old,” she said. “It's been hard."
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio reminds people of the cost some, like deputy Wargo, pay to keep his community safe.
"David was just doing his job,” Arpaio said.
Arpaio awarded the Wargo family $25,000. The money is raised through the Sheriff's Office Memorial Fund, which has raised nearly $200,000 for those who have died or suffered terrible injuries while on the job.
"I didn't know this was coming and I'm very, very thankful,” said Wargo’s wife.
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