ORLANDO, Fla. — Injured Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia is being flown to Atlanta today to begin a lengthy rehab process after being shot in the head by a felon who killed four children earlier this month.
Valencia, 27, remains in a coma, but his wife Meghan told reporters at OPD Headquarters Wednesday that he is responsive.
“So they will ask him to do ‘thumbs up,’ very small gestures and he is responding to those things. That’s absolutely amazing news considering the trauma he has gone through.”
She let on that doctors once felt the injury was not survivable, but now believe he can live through this, although his brain injuries are severe.
Valencia, a father of two, was shot while responding to a domestic call at an apartment that ended when Gary Lindsey killed himself after fatally shooting four children as they slept.
The officer will get treatment at the renown Shepherd Center in Atlanta. His wife plans to be by his side. Members of OPD have been with him the entire time he has been at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Asked for reaction to his progress, an emotional Meghan Valencia said “You choose to spend the rest of your life with this person. The idea that (recovery) still can happen. No words can express how ecstatic I was.”
She also thanked the community for its continual support. A member of OPD’s command staff shared the story of a person who yesterday gave an Orlando police officer a gift card from a grocery store “of a very significant amount” for the Valencia family.