The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Funds raised for PC Simon Schembri to be used to set up foundation for emergency responders

Rebecca Iversen Sunday, 10 June 2018, 11:30 Last update: about 4 years ago

Police Constable Simon Schembri was nearly killed while on duty when he was run over by 17 year-old Liam Debono three weeks ago.

The horrific incident shocked the public to its core, so much so that on the very same day members of the public, unknown to Schembri or his family, began to raise money for his recovery.

But now after the government pledged to pay all Schembri’s medical bills, the funds raised will be used to establish a foundation to help emergency responders who are injured on duty, Inspector Hermann Mula told The Malta Independent on Sunday yesterday.

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Schembri’s arm had to be amputated and he suffered other serious injuries when he was run over by a car and dragged along the road for many metres. The driver, Debono, is facing charges of attempted murder.

Schembri was discharged from hospital yesterday and he was met by a row of police officers standing beside their motorbikes and applauding as he left Mater Dei Hospital along with his family.

Speaking to The Malta Independent on Sunday, Inspector Mula, a colleague and close family friend of Schembri, said: “Simon has been very positive and very courageous throughout this whole process, making massive improvements.

“However, the next stage is the hardest part and this involves physiologically understanding the injuries and how to deal with them. When you have an incident where you almost die and you wake up in hospital alive, you’re so happy to be alive that you hang on to that.

“When I arrived at the scene, the on-call emergency doctor told me that he wasn’t going to make it – and he’s still here. Even on the second day after the accident, when he was still fighting for his life when I visited him, he nodded at me – sending me that message that ‘I’m going to fight this’. It gave me the courage to hold on too,” Inspector Mula recalled.

Inspector Mula said that Schembri’s family are putting all their energy into helping him and making his transition back home as easy as possible. Discussions will be held between the family and medical professionals – with the government being kept informed – to decide where Schembri can receive the best care during his continuing recovery, with America being one possibility.

With regard to the new foundation, Inspector Mula said the idea is based on helping emergency responders who risk their lives every day to help us all. “After the government offered to pay for Simon’s treatment, we came up with the idea and decided to let everyone know that those who donated money for Simon could either have the money returned or let us keep it to fund this Foundation.”

Consultation with relevant ministries that have already given their support is taking place. However, those involved are trying to ensure that all emergency responders are involved, including paramedics, the police and civil protection personnel.

“We are hoping to be able to create something good from what was a horrible incident and that, when he has sufficiently recovered, Simon can lead this Foundation and help others who have been injured while on duty. He will be an inspiration to everyone,” Inspector Mula predicted.

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