Hero NYPD cop who survived bullet wound to head wants back on force
EXCLUSIVE: Says the 'luck of the Irish‘ saved him on fateful day he was shot in New York
“We wanted an Irish name, we wanted a pretty name, and we didn’t want one where three other girls in her class at school would have the same name. We looked through a book of Irish names and we found Maeve. That’s the one we liked the most,” Brennan said.
Though Brennan is currently undergoing therapy and rehab, his journey to the full recovery his doctors are expecting is made all the more easier by his baby girl.
“When I first got home from the hospital I was still in a lot of pain and I wasn’t able to hold her, but some of the pain has subsided and I can hold her now and play with her a little more than I could a month ago. And I’m happy about that,” he says.
Janet Brennan has also been steadfastly by her husband’s side since the shooting. The young couple only recently discussed in detail the enormity of the shooting and its miraculous aftermath.
“It’s funny. We actually spoke about it last week. The time in the hospital, there were so many people there, it was kind of crazy. And then being home it was very hectic with visits and doctor’s appointments,” Brennan says.
“Last week was the first time that we kind of had a long talk about the whole thing. It was a little emotional.”
Brennan is aware now that his story of survival catapulted him to hero status not only in the city, but throughout the world – the Irish newspapers took notice, as did media outlets all over.
“My first few days in the hospital I was out of it,” says Brennan, who was conscious when doctors removed the bullet from the base of his skull.
“I didn’t really realize how big of a story it was. I have a cousin in Australia and she’s been telling me that it’s been all over the media there. I couldn’t believe it.”
The best news of all is that the future looks bright for Brennan, with his medical team confident that he will make a full recovery. He’s not there yet – there are still some vision problems, still residual pain to cope with – but it looks like he’ll be back on the force either in the fall of this year, or early in 2013.
Will he return to patrol duty on the city streets? “No, I think I’d be single if that was the case,” Brennan laughed.
“I assume I’ll be doing some kind of inside detective investigation type work. My time on the street is going to be on hold for now.”
Last month Brennan was promoted from officer to detective during an emotional ceremony presided over by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Also promoted was another hero Irish American detective, Kevin Herlihy, who survived a gunshot wound to the arm during a Valentine’s Day shootout at a subway station in Harlem.
Brennan also rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, February 29, something that he said he never thought he’d have the chance to do.
Kelly summed it up best after that event: “Kevin is a hero in every sense of the word. We thank God that it turned out the way it did. We’re all extremely proud of him.”
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