Road to recovery with Daryl Elliott Green

Following a spate of horrific attacks on Queensland Police, including the death of Police Dog Kaleb, we speak to an officer who has experienced firsthand the dangers of protecting Queenslanders.

Senior Sergeant Daryl Elliott Green knows all too well the devastating hardships many officers face after being shot in the line of duty.

Daryl joined the Queensland Police Service (QPS) straight out of high school. He had spent nine years keeping the streets of Brisbane safe when he was called to what he thought would be a routine neighbourhood dispute.

The call quickly turned sinister when 33-year-old Nigel Parodi approached Daryl, his partner Constable Sharnelle Cole and Senior Sergeant Chris Mulhall. Using a homemade silencer attached to a .22 calibre rifle, Parodi shot Daryl in the face and shoulder while Sharnelle was hit six times and Chris shot twice.

Miraculously, Daryl, Sharnelle and Chris survived but, as the adrenaline wore off, Daryl realised the extent of the damage. Harnessing his Queenslander spirit, he still found time to joke with partner Sharnelle.

“I’m looking through the windshield at Sharnelle and she’s still in the car and we have a bit of a joke amongst ourselves, I say ‘I’m doing all the hard work out there and you’re just having a bit of a whinge’,” Daryl said.   

Daryl later found out that the first bullet went through his left upper jaw, shattering his maxilla bone and taking out five teeth. It was found lodged at the base of his throat while the second bullet was lodged in his shoulder.

Daryl’s story doesn’t end there. He underwent years of surgery, pain and facial reconstruction that led to depression and anxiety.

As he began the long road to physical recovery, both Daryl and the people around him were reluctant to or unable to understand the mental trauma he was desperately grappling with.

It wasn’t until 2015 that Daryl began to realise the psychological damage he had suffered from the attack which had manifested as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

“It had such a dirty name, not only in the organisation I work for but outside where people say, ‘it’s a get rich quick scheme, you’re weak or you’re a shirker’,” Daryl said.

“And some of the stuff, I think I probably would have had difficulty understanding.”

“How can you be running along and then have images of your blood all over the bonnet of the police vehicle?”

Daryl now shares his story with at risk youth, corporate employees and new police recruits to instil the same resilience and bravery he has learned along his journey.

Listen below to hear more from Senior Sergeant Daryl Elliott Green.

Your shout is available on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple iTunes and RACQ Living.

If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 1114.