NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan said he's looking forward to coming home Friday to his wife and baby girl just 10 days after he was shot and critically wounded by a homicide suspect in Brooklyn.
"I'm very excited. I miss my daughter so much," Brennan said of little Maeve in a telephone interview from his room at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan. "She's the reason I got through this" said the officer, whose survival from a bullet that lodged against his skull was called a miracle.
Scores of applauding officers will be at the hospital Friday when Brennan, 28, a six-year veteran, is "walked out," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
Brennan's wife, Janet, said she was "ecstatic" at the news her husband was coming home to Garden City Park, but added that "he still needs to rest."
Friends and family were also overjoyed he was leaving the hospital and surprised at his fast recovery.
"Everybody is shocked that he's getting out early," said Brennan's sister-in-law Patty Masi of New Hyde Park. "I mean, who do you know that walks away from a head shot wound first of all, and then walks out of the hospital two weeks later?"
Masi said there will be time later for a big homecoming party for Brennan, but for now, his family wants "to get him settled in."
"I'm happy for him because I'm sure he's happy to get out of there," Masi said.
Brennan was shot point-blank during a late-night struggle with suspected gunman Luis Ortiz, 21, in the Bushwick Houses in Brooklyn on Jan. 31, police said. He suffered a wound to the right rear of his head when a bullet from a .38-caliber handgun allegedly fired by Ortiz, penetrated the skin and lodged outside his skull, police said. Brennan began his rehabilitation while at Bellevue, Browne said.
Brennan said Thursday night that his rehabilitation will continue at an outpatient facility in Manhasset.
Ortiz has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and numerous related felony counts. If convicted on all counts, Ortiz could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Janet Brennan has kept a bedside vigil for her wounded husband, leaving for the hospital in the early morning and not getting home until late at night, Masi said, adding that she brought Maeve, who is less than 2 months old, to the hospital twice to spend time with her father.
"It's kind of nice that she's so little that she won't remember any of this," Masi said of the shooting.
Brennan said Thursday night that he felt good enough Thursday to go for a mile on a hospital treadmill and 14 minutes on a stationary bicycle. By the end of the day, he said, his muscles are tired.
Masi said Brennan also has some head and neck discomfort that gets in the way of full recovery: "He's got some work to do . . . but he will eventually probably come very close to" a full recovery.
"I think he was very excited with the Giants," she said. "He was super excited that they won.
"I think he was happy to be doing something like a regular guy," Masi said.