(Rochester, N.Y.) – Anthony DiPonzio has come a long way in the 43 days since he was shot in the back of the head in the line of duty.
“It's coming along very well. I keep working hard every day,” he said. “Looking forward to just getting healthy and getting back to work.”
DiPonzio made his first public appearance on Sunday at a benefit dinner sponsored by ITALEO and the Rochester Police Locust Club.
“It's a very proud moment for us and we're just excited and we just thank God for his recovery,’ said DiPonzio’s mother, Joanne.
DiPonzio was shot while investigating a report of drug activity on Dayton Street. Doctors were not sure the 23-year-old would be able to survive. Now he’s able to talk, and walk with some assistance. He’s been allowed to leave the brain injury rehabilitation center at St. Mary’s for short periods of time. Doctors say he has made amazing progress.
DiPonzio said the most difficult thing for him right now is waiting to get better.
“Just try to be patient with the recovery,” he said.
He is well aware of the support he has received from hundreds of people – from the governor to ordinary citizens.
“Thank you. It's much-appreciated. That's been helping with the recovery, and it's nice to have so many people thinking about you and praying for you. Much-appreciated,” DiPonzio said.
“It's just been so overwhelming. We just never imagined anything like this. We're just so grateful to the whole Rochester community,” said Joanne DiPonzio.
DiPonzio’s next public appearance will be throwing out the first pitch on the Red Wings’ opening day.
“I've been practicing,” he said. “Looking forward to it. I love baseball it will be great to get out and see the game.”