NYPD officer, stabbed in head and near death, gets standing ovation as he leaves hospital
NEW YORK — About 100 uniformed NYPD officers gave a roaring, standing ovation to a colleague who left a New York hospital Wednesday, just weeks after he was critically stabbed in the head.Bagpipes sounded as 28-year-old Eder Loor emerged from The Mount Sinai Medical Center just after noon Wednesday.
"I'm just happy I'm alive," he said at a news conference earlier. "And I'm recovering."
Flanked by his wife and doctors in a hospital auditorium, Loor spoke softly, saying little about the traumatic experience except, "I don't remember."
But his head bore witness to the April 17 attack by a deranged man with a switchblade that pierced Loor's brain behind his left eye: a scar that ran straight down the middle of his head from surgery to open the skull, removing a blood clot and creating room for the brain to expand, as it does when traumatized.
Loor was answering a call about an emotionally disturbed person in East Harlem. When police arrived, the woman who'd called 911 said her son needed to be hospitalized, and when officers arrived, he attacked, police said.
The man fled but was arrested nearby and charged with attempted aggravated murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. He was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Loor quickly pulled the knife out of his own skull, and someone on the street gave him a towel to stop the bleeding.
When he got the emergency call, Dr. Joshua Bederson was jogging around the Central Park reservoir, and ran faster to get to the operating room.While the officer left the hospital in a wheelchair and still feels somewhat weak and sore, he's been to Central Park with a physical therapist — once for a mile-and-a-half walk, another time for a jog, said Bederson, who is Mount Sinai's chairman of neurosurgery.
"He was near death," Bederson told The Associated Press after Loor was released. "Time was a huge issue, because he was rapidly deteriorating, and the surgery was lickety-split."
Because nerves in the left brain had to be cut, Loor now suffers from some numbness of the face doctors say will improve. They don't yet know if it'll completely recede.
While the officer left the hospital in a wheelchair and still feels somewhat weak and sore, he's been to Central Park with a physical therapist — once for a mile-and-a-half walk, another time for a jog, said Bederson, who is Mount Sinai's chairman of neurosurgery.
The officer and his wife have a daughter who turned 5 on Wednesday, and his wife is pregnant with the couple's son.
When asked how she felt awaiting her husband's fate, Dina Loor could not speak; she wept quietly.
Her bilingual husband turned to Spanish to say that his family goes to Mass each Sunday, "and I look to the Lord a lot."
He faces more intensive rehabilitation and didn't know when he might return to work.
Loor has been a member of the NYPD force since 2006 and also is in the Air Force National Guard.