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Daughter Mia's loving tribute.

THE daughter of blinded PC David Rathband wrote her dad an emotional letter as he lay in hospital recovering from shotgun wounds.

The traffic officer has told how 12-year-old Mia's touching letter - in which she hails her father a 'hero' - kept him going through his darkest hours.

PC Rathband, 42, was lucky to survive after crazed gunman Raoul Moat crept up on him and blasted him in the face with a shotgun through the window of his patrol car.

And despite learning that he will probably never see again, the brave bobby says the love of his family will keep him going. In her letter, Mia describes her dad as, "strong and brave", and says "You are the one who put the Inspire in Inspiration."

And the schoolgirl told her father she was desperate to enjoy their "daddy and daughter snuggles again".

Speaking after her dad was discharged from hospital, on Wednesday, Mia said: "He is truly amazing - but then I always knew he was.

"The past weeks have been very hard. It's wonderful to have him home."

PC Rathband's son Ashley, 17, added: "Dad's phenomenal. The way he is dealing with this is incredible. He will not be beaten."

But the hero bobby, who has vowed to continue his career as a police officer, says it is his children and wife, Kath, 40, who keep him going.

"Their love will see me through this," he said.

"I am so lucky. I will do everything I did before I lost my sight and more."

David has made a list of milestones he wants to reach.

They include walking back into his old Newcastle police station in full uniform to start a shift, playing a round of golf, and taking up bungee jumping, paragliding and sky-diving.

DETERMINED: PC David Rathband
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 23, 2010
Words:299
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