WPD officer back on patrol nearly 2 years after being shot, face reconstructed

Just looking at him, you wouldn’t know anything had happened to Wichita Police Officer Kyle Mellard.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 8:26 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Just looking at him, you wouldn’t know anything had happened to Wichita Police Officer Kyle Mellard.

“It looks like nothing happened so it’s easy to kind of put it out of my mind when I don’t see a daily reminder of what happened,” Mellard said.

He was involved in a deadly shootout in south Wichita in which he was shot multiple times, including once to his mouth and jaw. Less than two years later, Mellard’s back on the streets doing what he loves, being a Wichita police officer.

“It was a mix of emotions. I was super excited to be back doing what I love doing and also a little bit nerve-wracking because I had been out of the game for a year and a half. It felt like coming out of the academy again,” Mellard said.

Dr. Ravi Garg, a plastic surgeon with the University of Kansas Health System receives credit for Mellard’s facial injuries not being immediately noticeable. Just months after Mellard was shot, Dr. Garg reconstructed his jaw using Mellard’s own leg bone.

“It’s pretty crazy, I didn’t expect them to use my own bone. I thought they would use some super cool plastic or titanium or something like that. But, they told me they wanted to use my fibula from my left leg.,” Mellard said. “...The body will accept it better than it would plastic or some foreign material. They also used the blood vessels to tie into the ones that are in my face.”

Mellard said he’s grateful for the medical staff at the hospital and he’s happy they played a part in getting him back to doing what he’s meant to do.

“I’ve fought tooth and nail to get back to almost 100%, as close as I could be, and back to working, back to being a dad and a husband. My wife would’ve been the only one who could’ve stopped me, but she’s been great and supportive of me the whole way. As long as the family’s on board with it, nothing was going to stop me after that,” said Mellard of returning to patrol.

His first shift back on patrol was in December.