CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police officer Adam Wazny has spent nearly a month in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries, after he was shot while serving an arrest warrant in West Englewood. So he was understandably relieved to be going home to his own bed on Friday.
“Adam is in great spirits, and he is extremely happy and gracious for all the support he’s received,” Chicago Police Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan said as Wazny was released from Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. “He’s just extremely thankful, and this is just a reminder of just how dangerous this job is.”
Several of Wazny’s fellow officers on the Fugitive Apprehension Unit greeted him as he was wheeled to an SUV outside the hospital, smiling and sharing handshakes and hugs with his fellow officers.
“We’re grateful that this day is here, that he’s coming home, and that everything turned out well for our officer,” said Wazny’s commanding officer, Fugitive Apprehension Unit Cmdr. Warren Richards.
Wazny said he’s happy to be going home.
“Thank you for all the support. Thank you very much. It means a lot to me,” Wazny said.
Wazny was shot on Sept. 21, while trying to arrest 45-year-old Michael Blackman, who is also accused of shooting a 28-year-old woman in the Fulton River District two days earlier.
Blackman was arrested hours after he shot Wazny, during another shootout with police, when officers tracked him to an overgrown vacant lot where they believed he was hiding. Blackman has been charged with five counts of attempted murder for the shooting of Wazny, the shooting of the 28-year-old woman and for firing at other officers trying to arrest him.
Police have said Wazny helped save his own life after he was shot, by applying a tourniquet to his wound.
“Officers across the city leave every morning not knowing if they’re going to have a great day or face evil. The officer faced evil that day, and through his training, he prevailed,” Richards said.
Doctors have said Wazny suffered wounds to his left groin, two holes in his lower left leg and fractures in the leg. After multiple surgeries at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and later at Lutheran General, he spent the last 2 1/2 weeks undergoing physical rehabilitation.
“He’s such a brave, brave patient,” said Dr. Amy Sun, a rehabilitation medicine physician at Lutheran General. “No matter how much pain, or how badly he felt, he worked through everything. He’s motivated every day to get better. He worked through it all with motivation, and he never complained once.”
While Wazny can walk with assistance, Sun said he faces more outpatient rehab now that he’s going home.
“He still has quite a ways to go for recovery,” she said.