Sheriff’s Deputy Uses Bodybuilding to Recover From Near-Fatal Crash

Bodybuilding saving lives.

Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy Joaquin Galvan suffered a near-fatal crash while on-duty on July 31, 2016.

He took a call for a white Ford Mustang driving recklessly on the city’s Northeast Side, spotted the vehicle and tried to stop it. But the Mustang sped off, and that’s when he began the pursuit.

“I guess a vehicle came out in front of my suspect’s vehicle. He crashed into that vehicle and vehicle; he pushed that vehicle into me,” Galvan told KSAT.

“I don’t know how I survived, and I was extremely lucky. Extremely, extremely lucky, and I really had an angel over me that day to (be able to) say I’m still here to say I survived that accident,” he said.

Responding deputies found Galvan unresponsive with life-threatening injuries in his smashed patrol unit and quickly rushed him to the nearest hospital.

“I broke my ankle in half. I broke my femur in half. I cracked my pelvis in two spots to the left of my pelvis. I broke my forearm in half,” Galvan said. “But I had a traumatic brain injury, too. They said I had a brain bleed, and I was in ICU (intensive care unit) for a couple of days.”

Galvan said the accident left him temporarily paralyzed and forced him to learn how to walk again.

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Deputies said they found marijuana in the car after two teenagers fled the scene. They were quickly caught moments after Galvan’s accident.

Galvan, an aspiring bodybuilder, has been blogging throughout his recovery process on his Instagram page as motivation to get back on patrol and continue his SWAT team duties.

“I’m not going to let everything go. I’m exactly where I want to be,” he said. “I’m in a great department, I’m in the SWAT team. That’s why I trained so hard, and everything I needed to do for my rehab, I did it beyond what I needed to do.”

After weeks of immobile recovery, Galvan said he was tired of being hopeless and decided it was time to go back to the gym.

“Once I was able to walk around easily, getting around on crutches, I was like, ‘You know what man, I’m going to go the gym and I’ll work out my right side or try doing something.’ I started from resistance bands, to (lifting) 2 pounds, then 5 pounds, to 10 pounds, and little by little as time went on I started increasing my strength, my bones started healing, and I was able to get back into it.”

More than a year after his accident, Galvan competed in his first-ever bodybuilding competition in his hometown of San Antonio on Oct. 7, 2017. Two days after, he was back on patrol and uses the accident as a reminder not to take anything for granted.

“When I look at it, I’m kind of proud to say, ‘Hey, I survived that accident’ and managed to rebuild myself from that (accident). I embrace it, I don’t look at it as a negative.”
He said his most ambitious plan is marriage to his fiancée in 2018