New York Police Department Officer Rosa Rodriguez was released from Weill Cornell Medical Center Monday, more than a month after she was overcome by smoke while responding to a Coney Island fire with her partner, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Officer Guerra was fatally injured in the blaze, the first officer killed in the line of duty since 2011.
More than 100 police officers outside the hospital applauded as Ms. Rodriguez emerged from the hospital in a wheelchair. She was accompanied by family members, as well as by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton.
She became emotional as she was handed bouquets of flowers.
On April 6th, the officers responded to a mattress fire at 2007 Surf Avenue, taking an elevator to the 13th floor. When they elevator doors opened, the smoke overtook them.
Dr. Palmer Bessey, Associate Director of the Burn Center at the hospital, said Officer Rodriguez’s primary injury was “destruction of lining of the lungs from the effects of toxic products in smoke.”
He said that when first admitted, the officer had a 50% chance of dying. She was on a breathing machine for a month.
According to Dr. Bessey, “there’s a possibility she’ll never be 100%.” She said that Officer Rodriguez could eventually return to duty, but that “issue is going to be what will it do to her own sort of confidence and ability to sort of not be a little bit afraid.”
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