INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shared an update over the weekend on a first-year officer who was shot in the throat in late February while responding to a call in Fountain Square.

“It hasn’t been easy. The load has seemed very heavy at times,” admitted Officer Thomas “Tommy” Mangan in a raw and raspy voice during the six-minute video. “Being able to have faith and have that load be lightened is I believe the only way that it is possible to make it through – not only make it through but [become] stronger through it.”

Officer Mangan has been recovering at home after sustaining major damage to his voice box and Adam’s apple after being shot by a suspect on February 27.

As he appeared with his wife Emory in a video shared by IMPD on Sunday, a long scar was visible on his throat. However, Tommy Mangan says he’s doing “so much better” at this stage than doctors previously thought.

Tommy and Emory said letters from people both locally and around the country have played a big role in his healing.

“Just to read the kind words of people we don’t even know and how they’re praying for us and thinking of us,” said Emory. “That support and encouragement — it was so uplifting to end every day with that especially as those days were very hard. They were very challenging. We were still just reeling from what had happened and grappling with the changes not knowing what the future would hold with Tommy’s health.”

Officer Mangan spent around two weeks in the hospital following the shooting and was greeted by dozens of IMPD officers upon his release. It’s a memory that he says he thinks of often.

“Thinking back on that moment just brings the biggest smile to my face and really uplifts my heart.”

Two other Indiana officers were shot in the line of duty over the summer: Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz was fatally injured and Richmond Officer Seara Burton remains in critical condition.

In the wake of these shootings, Mangan had a message for his fellow officers: “Everyday when you put on your vest, you put your belt on, your holster and are ready to take on the challenges of each day. You’re not alone. You also have a community that is backing you up.”

At this time, it’s uncertain whether Mangan will return to IMPD as an officer who works in the field.

He has another surgery set for September for the scar on his neck. He will also continue his daily physical therapy.

The suspect in the February shooting was charged with attempted murder. You can read more about the shooting here.

You can see IMPD’s full video about Officer Tommy Mangan here.