STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County police officer who was nearly killed by an alleged drunk driver was released from the hospital Friday.

He has made a remarkable recovery.

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He fought for his life for more than a month and was even given last rites.

His family calls it their Christmas miracle.

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, fighting to keep their composure, row after row of tearful colleagues, family, friends and Stony Brook medical staff saluted Suffolk Police Officer Timothy Thrane, husband and father of three who refused to give up on lliving.

“It’s the longest I had not seeing my children. It’s great,” he said.

“It has been very tough,” said his wife Janelle.

“Just amazing. A miracle that he is going to be OK. We’re so happy. It has been a tough road,” said his mother-in-law Lori Walz.

Thrane was directing traffic off William Floyd Parkway when he was struck by an alleged drunk driver a month ago. The 35-year-old officer suffered critical brain injuries, broken neck, acute lung damage and was on life support and a ventilator. It was touch and go for weeks.

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“It really was a true team that saved Tim’s life. It started at the scene. The injuries Tim had were life-threatening and extensive. As soon as Tim got hit, he fractured his skull,” said Dr. James Vosswinkel of Stony Brook University Hospital.

Thrane underwent multiple life-saving surgeries amid round-the-clock care. His family was on a roller coaster of emotions.

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“It’s a miracle. That’s how I feel. It’s our Christmas miracle,” said his mother Joann.

“It’s amazing having him back, having him awake,” said his sister-in-law Christine.

“So happy to see that he’s himself, his personality, everything,” said his brother Brian.

“He’s the kind of guy who really cares for the people around him,” said his friend and colleague CJ Hunter.

“We are so happy that he’s going to be able to leave and get better and come home,” said Janelle Thrane.

“When we were finally three and a half weeks into the four and a half weeks he was here, finally able that his lungs healed enough to get him off a vent, Tim woke up and Tim was there. Tim was Tim,” Dr. Vosswinkel said.

The road to recovery begins in earnest. Thrane left Stony Brook for St. Charles Rehabilitation in Port Jeffesron, with the immediate goal to be home for Christmas.

“Yes, yes. Hopefully for Christmas. That’s the plan,” Janelle Thrane said.

Tim Thrane says he is more than ready to learn to walk and feed himself once again.

“It’s overwhelming, this support I got this whole time,” he said.

Police said the driver of a GMC Yukon had pulled over to ask a question, when 38-year-old Mastic resident William Petersohn slammed into the Yukon with his pickup truck. The SUV then hit Thrane, pinning him underneath.

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Petersohn was also hospitalized with serious injuries after the crash. He was later charged with driving while intoxicated.

Jennifer McLogan