Stabbed police officer 'still in pain' eight months after attack

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PC Kenneth McKenzie, PC Laura Sayer and Chief Constable Iain LivingstoneImage source, PA
Image caption,
PC Laura Sayer was given an award for bravery from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone

A police officer who was stabbed in the line of duty has revealed she remains in constant pain more than eight months since the attack.

PC Laura Sayer and PC Kenneth MacKenzie were wounded after accompanying mental health workers to a flat in Greenock.

Their attacker was detained for mental health treatment after the incident.

PC Sayer said running had helped her remain positive, and she is training for the New York marathon to help a charity supporting officers.

The police officer, 39, had less than six months' service with Police Scotland - and is still in her probationary period - when she was attacked on 1 June last year.

She told John Beattie, on BBC Radio Scotland, that it was "terrifying" but she was trying hard to move forward, despite her injuries.

Nerve damage

During the attack, a nerve in her forearm was severed. Although doctors reattached the nerve, she still experiences pain and numbness in the area.

PC Sayer said: "It won't ever be back to what it was because it had been completely severed so it's just a case of waiting to see.

"It's still pretty annoying. It's nerve pain every day, I'm aware of it all the time - but trying to stay positive, hopefully in the future it will improve."

Image source, PA
Image caption,
PC Laura Sayer and PC Kenneth MacKenzie were attacked last summer when accompanying mental health workers to a flat in Greenock

Of the attack, she said it is a risk officers face: "It's the police, and it's part of the job - to put yourself out there and to help people.

"Unfortunately, it was just a situation that we found ourselves in that I hope never to be in again."

She said she did not want to keep going over the attack itself, but wanted to thank the people who had helped her recover.

Long recovery

The night of the attack was spent in hospital and she was operated on the following morning. That afternoon, she returned home and said the support of her family and friends was crucial.

The next 10 weeks she spent with her arm in a sling, unable to move it. She also visited a "fantastic" specialist treatment centre, run by the Police Treatment Centre charity, where she received mental and physical support.

She was able to return to work last November - nearly six months after the attack.

She said she had received "absolutely incredible" support from Police Scotland. However, she is still on a phased return and is not sure when she will be fit to return to front line policing.

"It's good to be back in uniform and back working with colleagues again", said Constable Sayer.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
PC Laura Sayer and PC Kenneth McKenzie with their bravery awards

She added: "Being back out helping people again is my main thought.

"That's the focus, to get back to that. How long that will be, I'm not sure."

Marathon challenge

In the meantime, she is training for her charity marathon - the NYC event is the world's biggest marathon - and she said it helped her relax.

"I did the Dublin marathon a few years ago, and I've always wanted to do New York so I decided it would be good to keep myself focused on something for the future and help get my fitness back up to what it was before my injuries."

She is raising funds for the Police Treatment Centre, a charity that provides treatment to serving and retired police officers following an illness or injury.

"I can't think of any better charity to do it for," she said.

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