CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer wounded in the August shooting that killed officer Ella French shared a message of celebration on Wednesday.
Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. is out of the hospital, in rehab, and marking an important date weeks after losing his eye and movement on his left side following a deadly shooting. This week, a sign of hope emerged, as Chicago police Supt. David Brown said on Monday the officer’s move to rehab was a “major step” in the recovery process.
Days later, a smiling Yanez celebrated another milestone in his recovery and career.
“Happy anniversary. 25 August 2014. Seven years. We did it,” he said in the video.
Celebrating his seventh year with the Chicago Police Department, there were times when it wasn’t certain he would reach the milestone in the last two weeks. The veteran officer was shot twice in the head in an ambush attack that claimed the life of his partner, French, on Aug. 7.
Since then, Officer Yanez has been surrounded by love and support from his wife and son, CJ, who turns three in September, as well as local, state and nationwide police departments and Chicagoans who wished him a full recovery.
Just last week, Officer Yanez released a bedside video thanking supporters with a weakened voice.
“Thank you for your support, your donations, your prayers. I love you all,” he said.
Now, at a rehab facility, Yanez’s family shared the smiling video with WGN, along with an update that he is growing more talkative each day while working hard on his rehabilitation with therapists.
The 39-year-old was also able to shave his face for the first time since the shooting, using an electronic razor, his right arm, and the help of physical therapists. Some twitching and muscle tension in his left arm and left leg will take extensive rehabilitation. Still, his family said Yanez is now able to sleep better in rehab and that his energy is rebounding, as well as his appetite.
His sister said there would be ups and downs over the next several months, but Wednesday was a happy step in the right direction.
Yanez Jr.’s GoFundMe has raised over $325,000.
A local girl scout troop is also helping organize a “Get Well Soon” letter drive. Anyone interested can send messages to the following address: