On Friday, New York City police officer Kevin Brennan walked out of Bellevue Hospital to the cheers of 200 of his comrades. It was just 10 days after he was shot in the head by a gang member in Brooklyn. Brennan was sporting a replica of the jersey worn by New York Giants defensive lineman when he left the hospital and walked the last few steps to his car. Brennan was driven to his Long Island home, hugged his infant daughter, gratefully accepted the welcomes extended by friends and family, and eagerly ate a slice of pizza.
These little things were now far more important to Brennan, and there were more pleasant surprises in store. Soon after Brennan returned home, a black Escalade pulled up in the 29-year-old Giants fan's driveway, and out walked Justin Tuck himself. Tuck had been told of Brennan's struggle for life, and that the young man was a huge supporter of the team that had won Super Bowl XLVI just five days before player and officer finally met. Because he was at a nearby event about that time, Tuck was more than happy to suggest a visit.
"I wanted to show him some support," Tuck told the New York Daily News. "That's all."
"[Brennan] was totally shocked — he had no idea. He said, 'Are you kidding me?,'" Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Trustee John A. Flynn told reporters outside Brennan's home.
In a statement, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Brennan's amazing turnaround has been a "boost of morale for the entire department," and that the officer displayed remarkable courage in the face of deadly violence.
Allegedly shot on January 31 by Latin Kings gang member Luis "Baby" Ortiz as the two men were wrestling over a gun in Brooklyn's Bushwick area, Brennan survived a bullet wound at the base of his skull. He recovered quickly enough to watch the Super Bowl, which his Giants won, 21-17, from his hospital bed. Tuck had two sacks in the game, and it was his pass rush that forced New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to draw an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone on the Pats' first play from scrimmage.
Certainly, Tuck knew who the real hero was in that house.
"If you don't believe in miracles ... you saw my son, you saw him walk out of that hospital. You saw him go into his house with his daughter," said the Brennan's father, Dave.
"That is a miracle."
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