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Mahnomen deputy's recovery called "nothing short of miracle"

Mahnomen County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Dewey is comforted by his wife, Emily, on Saturday in a photo posted on Dewey's CaringBridge Web site. Special to Forum Communications

FARGO - A Mahnomen County (Minn.) sheriff's deputy now is listed in satisfactory condition after Fargo doctors upgraded him from guarded condition.

"They think it's nothing short of a miracle," said Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, who was asked by Christopher Dewey's family to be a spokesman at a news conference this morning.

The family also wanted to pass along their thanks to the community, law enforcement officers and staff at Fargo's MeritCare Hospital who have supported them and helped Dewey in his recovery, Laney said.

Dewey was gunned down last Wednesday while investigating a call near the end of his overnight shift. He suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and head.

Dr. Robert Sticca said Dewey continues to make "some remarkable progress."

Dewey is awake, talking with family, and standing on his feet with some assistance, Sticca said this morning.

The deputy has limited movement of left arm.

"He's out of danger at the present time but he has a long road ahead," Sticca said. The deputy can eat and is "well on his road to recovery," the doctor said.

Dewey could leave the hospital this week, but faces intensive therapy and most likely some permanent injuries and neurological deficits, Sticca said.

Two men, Thomas Fairbanks and Daniel Vernier, face charges for a confrontation with Dewey.