Rochester, N.Y. -- Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio, who was injured in the line of duty in January, has been released after undergoing skull reconstruction surgery Monday.
Wednesday, officials at Rochester General Hospital said he "is doing well and is listed in stable condition." They also said he should be able to return home soon.
Monday, doctors said the surgery was a complete success and that his recovery so far is better than they could have ever hoped.
DiPonzio’s surgeon, Dr. Paul Maurer, called the 90-minute operation “textbook,” but what's far from textbook is the progress DiPonzio has made.
For the last five months, the area of DiPonzio’s brain where the bullet entered was exposed just under the skin. Doctors had to remove part of his skull to make room for the natural swelling they expected.
As DiPonzio recovered, he wore a helmet to protect that section of his brain.
“He is delighted to be done with the helmet,” Dr Maurer said. “I won't tell you what he was planning on doing with it, but I encouraged him to hold on to it because sometimes you get rid of it, and you wish you had it ten years later.”
Dr. Maurer says DiPonzio’s intellectual capabilities are astounding as well. Only 10 to 12 percent of people with an injury like DiPonzio’s survive. Of that, less than half lead functional lives. Dr. Maurer says the fact that DiPonzio can talk, remember, and comprehend is amazing, and that he is only getting better as time goes on.
The surgery was DiPonzio's third.
Tyquan Rivera, 15, is accused of shooting DiPonzio in the back of the head on January 31.
Rivera is charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, and he has pleaded not guilty.
Rivera's trial is scheduled to begin August 10 but that date could change because of the recent death of Rivera's attorney. His attorney, George Conaty, died Wednesday. However, we won't know if his death will affect Rivera's trial until at least July 1st.