"Never doubt yourself… or your instincts."
Police often have a sixth sense, a kind of built-in radar that registers when something is wrong.
It was that instinct that led Officer Gerald Veneziano to pull along side a car that had been following him – even though he was off-duty. As he opened his window, the other driver opened fire.
By the time it was over, Gerry had been shot nine times. The first bullet shattered his jaw. Others hit his arm, chest and leg, and pierced his femoral artery. The assailant sped away, leaving Gerry to die near a deserted parking lot.
Somehow he managed to drag himself to the main road. Several cars passed and finally a motorist saw him and called for help. Within minutes, he was airlifted to University Hospital. Placed on life support and in a medically induced coma, Gerry fought for his life. His injuries were extensive; the loss of blood massive. But he pulled through and turned to Kessler's Orthopedic Trauma Program for his rehabilitation.
"It all happened so quickly, it didn't seem real. But my rehabilitation, that was real. It was hard. It was frustrating. But I believed in myself and in my ability to recovery. I put my faith in my treatment team, my family and my friends… and they didn't let me down."
Gerry still experiences some pain and numbness, but has returned to work. As for the future, he's hoping that one day he'll teach at the police academy, perhaps a course on survival.
Learn more about Kessler's Orthopedic Rehabilitation Program.