LITTLE ROCK, Ark – You wouldn’t know it unless he told you, but Charles Allen suffered a horrible neck injury just three years ago.

“It just felt like my head got compressed and, you know, my neck just got compressed,” Allen said.

“When he first got here, I was uncomfortable with him really sitting up in bed,” Baptist Health neurosurgeon Dr. Johnathan Reding said. “He had a break of the first bone of his neck.”

Allen wanted to avoid surgery at all costs.

“I thought it was going to be, you know, really long and drawn out,” he said.

But when he met Reding, Allen said he felt at ease, so he opted for the surgery.

“We had to go from the back of the neck and actually put a plate on his skull and then screws in his spine,” Reding said.

Allen says the recovery has been fantastic and he has very few limitations.

“Makes it a little bit harder to parallel park my Tahoe,” Allen said.

Allen says he’s thankful to Reding for helping him be able to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming one of Little Rock’s finest. He recently became a Little Rock Police Department officer and thanks Reding for helping him get back on his feet.