After falling 20ft through a roof while trying to detain a suspect the family of PC Chris Hardaway were told he might not make it.
But the policeman, who sustained serious head injuries and now has a titanium plate fitted in his skull – is back at work just five months later.
He has been praised as "uber-resilient" by Chief Constable Nick Gargan, who posted a picture on Twitter of PC Hardaway's first day back.
It was early on November 8 last year when PC Hardaway was chasing a suspect in Hampton Road, in the Redland area of Bristol, that he fell through a building's roof.
He was rushed to Frenchay Hospital where his family were told he may die, or be severely brain damaged. The officer, who lives in Weston-super-Mare and works from Southmead police station, in Bristol had multiple fractures to his skull and face and several bleeds on the brain.