Rosa Rodriguez, the police officer critically injured in a Coney Island fire allegedly set by a bored teen, returned home Monday after more than a month in the hospital.
Daily News set the scene:
There were pipes and drums, applauding police officers, and big shots such as Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton cheering her on.
But what brought a smile to Officer Rosa Rodriguez’s face was the sight of her darling daughters with matching police caps on their heads and big smiles on their pretty faces.
Amy Tavarez, 11, and her 9-year-old sister, Abby, were a sight for Rodriguez’s sore eyes Monday as she was released from the hospital more than a month after nearly being killed by a deliberately set fire.
Dressed in her police jacket and still attached to an oxygen tank, a tearful Rodriguez clutched a bouquet and whispered “Thank you” repeatedly as she was wheeled out of New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell hospital.
Rodriguez was in a coma for two weeks after the fire, and doctors said she faced a 50 percent chance of surviving.
Her partner, Dennis Guerra, didn’t fare so well, succumbing to his injuries several days after the fire.
Rodriguez is reportedly raring to get back on the beat, although doctors note there’s still quite a bit of recovery in her future.
“We are delighted,” said Dr. Palmer Bessey, associate director of the hospital’s burn center.
Bessey said it was hard to say if Rodriguez would return to police work.
“I think physically she can, and the issue is what it will do to her own sort of confidence and ability to sort of not be a little bit afraid,” Bessey said.
Rodriguez has a “fabulous” attitude about recovery and tries to push herself a little further every day, Bessy said.
The fire that put Rodriguez in the hospital and killed her partner took place April 6 at 2007 Surf Avenue. Sixteen-year-old Marcell Dockery was arrested, with authorities claiming he confessed to lighting a mattress on fire in the hallway because he was bored. Dockery’s lawyer has since said that the confession was coerced, and he has pleaded not guilty to the charges.