Arnold police officer wounded in gunshot COVID-19, pneumonia
Arnold police officer wounded in gunshot COVID-19, pneumonia

Arnold police officer wounded in gunshot COVID-19, pneumonia

ARNOLD, Mo. – An Arnold police officer who survived a shooting shows the world that he is ready to fight again – this time against Covid 19 and double pneumonia.

“I can not say how grateful we are. There will never be enough words to express how grateful we are,” said Barbara O’Connor, wife of Ryan O’Connor.

Her husband has been in the intensive care unit since January 16th. His lungs failed and a ventilator was not enough.

He was transferred to St. Luke’s Hospital, where cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Jeremy Leidenfrost agreed to put O’Connor on an ECMO machine.

“He was put on ECMO several days ago due to inability to maintain his oxygen and CO2 levels in the fan. It was one last attempt to keep him alive,” said Dr. Leidenfrost.

O’Connor knows all too well what it means to fight for survival. In 2017, while working for the Arnold Police Department, he was shot in the head by a burglar suspect.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury and underwent several months of therapy and rehabilitation.

Officer Ryan O’Connor

Now 48, the man and father of four boys did not give up, even with the odds against him.

“We knew he had less than a 50% chance of being able to heal his lungs enough to get out of the ECMO machine and return to doing everything on his own,” Barbara O’Connor said.

Her husband almost hit the bottom a few days ago. The family was preparing for the worst.

And then – unexpectedly, prayers had been answered.

Ryan O’Connor began to breathe a sigh of relief. O’Connor is now away from ECMO and fan. On Sunday, the pipes were removed.

“When he was awake and alert, at first he was quite upset. Because he realized he was in the hospital again. And after spending so many months in the hospital, it was a disappointment for him, ”said Barbara O’Connor. “But when we explained that he had Covid and he was sick and getting better, he was fine. They’re really doing a good job of making sure he knows how well he’s doing. The team here is really comforting and supportive. ”

His family calls it a miracle.

“In just two weeks he went from not being able to breathe, and now he’s breathing by himself,” said his son, Ciaran, 15.

Ciaran and two of his other brothers were excited to see their father again.

“I told him we all love him,” said his 10-year-old son, Quinn.

Barbara O’Connor said she was eternally grateful to the staff at St. Luke’s Hospital.

“I can tell you nothing compared to the team here at St. Luke’s. They have just poured their hearts into him. Everything they could think of and it worked, ”she said.

Dr. Leidenfrost called it a team effort.

“The nurses really moved up and worked extra shifts to make this happen. Everyone stepped forward to try to take care of him. I and everyone involved are incredibly happy – overjoyed – that he got better, he said.

And as if the miracle recovery wasn’t enough, Ryan O’Connor managed to make Valentine’s Day special for his wife.

“He smiled a few times – and he’s actually trying to say, ‘I love you,'” Barbara O’Connor said Monday.

O’Connor is now breathing on his own and quitting antibiotics for pneumonia. He is able to respond to simple commands.

His recovery will be long lasting and will likely require extensive rehabilitation while he works to rebuild his strength.

But his family has no doubt he will make a comeback.

“It’s like I said a long time ago, he’s an O’Connor, he wants to win,” said son Ciaran.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.