Less than a week after a local police chief was critically injured in a fireworks accident, his fiancée said he continues to have surgeries to save what is left of his arm.
Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold lost the lower part of his arm Saturday when he was setting off fireworks at the Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department's Carnival.
"First we heard a loud (noise) -- it sounded like an explosion and I was watching it from five blocks away. And I just knew, and without saying a word, I got in my car and rushed down," said his fiancee, Danielle Reinke.
Diebold lost three-quarters of his blood in the accident, and he didn't stop bleeding until someone took off his belt and tied it around his arm.
"I guess they were wrapping blankets and everything, and nothing would stop the bleeding," Reinke said. "I call them angels. They're all angels."
She said her angels come every day in the form of police officers visiting Diebold. Three women in her town are making shirts to raise money for him, and friends and family have offered constant prayers.
"If he could be healed by love alone, he would be healed a million times over," she said.
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Doctors are now trying to save Diebold's elbow joint, and then they will explore the possibility of prosthetics.
The couple's 8-week-old son is also at the hospital every day, and Reinke said the baby has been Diebold's biggest inspiration.
"He wants to be able to hold his son, tie his shoes, change his diapers. That's his concern. And I told him, with all the help that everyone's giving, we want to get you that arm that's going to let you do all that," she said.
Reinke said her fiance has a passion for police work and he's determined to return as chief of police.
Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for continuing coverage.
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