A 20-year veteran officer with the Fort Worth Police Department says that she was denied surgery by the city's workers' comp insurance carrier after her patrol vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup truck at a traffic light.

According to the Star Telegram, Kellie Whitehead had been awarded the department's Medal of Valor for saving a drowning man in a lake in March 2016. Two days later, her squad car was struck at a red light by an unlicensed and unregistered driver.

Whitehead did undergo surgery, but it was not the spinal fusion surgery originally suggested by medical professionals, and the lack of appropriate medical care has left her with persistent pain and a long recovery, delaying her return to work, Whitehead says.

A GoFundMe page was started to help Whitehead offset her medical expenses, but it is insufficient, according to James Wood, the attorney representing her in a grievance against the city of Fort Worth.