With 23 years on the force, Rochester Police Officer Denny Wright had answered his share of domestic calls. But when he arrived to a home on Peck Street last October, a man was hiding under a bed.
As the officer and family members tried to coax him out, he began to run. When Denny intervened, the man pushed him and stabbed him multiple times.
Thankfully, two bystanders intervened, and Denny was rushed to Rochester General Hospital.
Denny arrived at Rochester General with stab wounds to his face, eye, and lower body, and medical teams worked quickly to get him stabilized and into surgery. Once he had a chance to recover, he was transferred to the Golisano Neurology Rehabilitation Center at Unity Hospital to begin learning how to navigate without the use of his eyesight.
"So many people have trusted us after accidents, falls, strokes, heart attacks - some of the most devastating setbacks imaginable," said Mary Dombovy, MD, Vice President of Rochester Regional Health's Neurosciences Institute. "It's been our honor to help these people rebuild their lives."
For nearly two weeks, Denny pushed himself to recover with specialists at the Golisano Neurology Rehabilitation Center while community support grew and grew.
Rochester General Hospital, Unity Hospital, the Greater Rochester International Airport and other businesses and homes lit their exteriors with blue lighting. Police, firefighters, and EMS personnel gathered outside Unity Hospital to shine blue lights and use their sirens.
"To hear about everyone who has donated their time, food, or just simply sent a card, or said a prayer, has been uplifting and strengthened my resolve to rehabilitate and recover from the events of October 4th," Denny said. "There are no words that can describe how grateful I am for the love and support of everyone."
When Denny walked out of the Golisano Neurology Rehabilitation Center with his family members, he was greeted by officers lining the sidewalk and silently saluting. He rode home in a police cruiser.
A few months later, Denny told a local reporter that losing his sight certainly came with a learning curve, but he was moving forward every day.
"I won't argue that it's difficult, but at the end of the day as terrible as this incident was, I'm alive and I need to learn how to be productive and how to be independent and continue to do what I did before in whatever manner I find. There's a reason that I got through what I got through and I need to find what the next chapter of my life is.