(WSVN) - Police officers take an oath to protect and serve, but who takes care of them when they’re injured? A local officer got the answer to that question two years ago and is finally getting the chance to meet one of the people responsible for saving his life. 7’s Craig Stevens has more from their “Rescue Reunion.”
North Miami Beach Police Officer Lino Diaz was shot two years ago while serving a warrant.
He was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, and remembers clearly the thoughts swirling in his head.
Sgt. Lino Diaz, North Miami Beach Police: “Nothing like that has ever happened to me. I’ve never gone through surgery in my whole entire life until that day. So it was a scary moment.”
Trauma nurse Luis DeRosa also clearly remembers that day.
Luis DeRosa, trauma nurse: “I remember his uniform specifically. He was sitting on a stretcher. He had a bunch of bullet holes in him. He was in pain. It was the worst day of his life.”
Luis says he has dealt with hundreds of patients in his career, but this one was different.
Luis DeRosa: “I actually grew up in North Miami Beach, so in actuality, Sgt. Diaz really does serve my family, my community.”
But Diaz says it was the service of Luis that he will never forget. Nor will he forget the promise he made that day inside these doors at Ryder Trauma Center.
Sgt. Lino Diaz: “I promised him when we get out of here, we’re going to have a beer. I promised.”
Their hectic lives put that promise on hold.
Officer Diaz became Sgt. Diaz, and life as a trauma nurse is always busy.
Sgt. Lino Diaz: “Our schedules were always off. With your help, you know, we finally coordinated this, and it’s been a long time coming.”
It was a meeting two years in the making, and 7News was there at Duffy’s when they finally met up for their beer!
Luis DeRosa: “You look a lot different when you’re not laying in a stretcher.”
A very surreal experience for Luis.
Luis DeRosa: “To see him now, standing up, walking around in civilian clothing, it’s like the fruit of our labor right there.”
But for Luis and Lino, this meeting is about more than two guys grabbing a beer. It is a chance for both of them to show their appreciation for each other’s dedication to the community.
Luis DeRosa: “Thanks for doing what you do, man. Thanks for risking your life for my family.”
Sgt. Lino Diaz: “You always have to have hope for humanity. And do the best that you can to help people out. You can make a difference.”
And while they intend to keep in touch, they hope they never have to meet in a hospital again.
Sgt. Diaz made a full recovery after the shooting and is back on the job. He and Luis say they plan to find time to get both their families together in the future to celebrate.
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