The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA) is has announced Officer Peter Conklin of Irmo as the recipient of the 2017 Annual Inspiration Award during its 41st Annual Educational Conference on Workers’ Compensation.

“This award was created in 2015 to recognize, celebrate and share in the success of an injured worker in South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation system” said Andrea Roche, SCWCEA President. “We also want to acknowledge the professional team which performed in the manner that exemplifies the very best of the Workers’ Compensation system.”

Conklin was seriously injured while assisting a disabled motorist on I – 126 when he was struck by a car May 24, 2016. At the time, he was 28 years old.

He suffered a severe degloving injury to the left forearm and antecubital fossa to his hand and underwent multiple surgeries including a tendon transfer. Conklin received several months of intense occupational therapy which he mastered sooner than expected by his medical team. At his two month visit with his Orthopedic physician, Dr. John Walsh was astounded by Mr. Conklin’s ability to demonstrate full extension to make a fist with enough motion in thumb and index finger to pinch. Dr. Walsh remarked Conklin’s recovery and rehabilitation were “short of a miracle”.

Conklin returned to part-time work at the Columbia Police Department during August 2016 and full time status in September 2016 after passing all of the required tests.

Due to his determination, positive attitude, and efforts to recover, Peter Conklin returned to work much sooner than anticipated by everyone.

“Pete is the perfect example of how the system should work,” said T. Scott Beck, chairman of the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission. “I have met hundreds of injured workers during my service with the Commission and very few have as much determination, courage and self-discipline as Pete Conklin. He is truly an inspiration and deserving of this recognition.”

“It is an honor to be the recipient of this award,” said Conklin. “I’d like to thank the South Carolina Workers’ Compensational Educational Association, my entire family, Chief Skip Holbrook and the Columbia Police Department, Dr. John Walsh of Palmetto Health Orthopedic, Kim Carter of GENEX Services, Companion TPA, and Mike Kelly and Brad Hewett of the Mike Kelly Law Group. The outpouring of support by my employer and fellow officers as well as the medical and rehabilitation team was a driving factor in my recovery process. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”

Conklin was nominated for the award by Jonathan Duarte of Companion TPA which handled his case. His information will be displayed in the waiting room of the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission office in Columbia.