ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Monday marks three months since Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia was shot in the head while responding to a domestic violence call. The young officer has been in a coma ever since.
Valencia's wife, Meghan, sat down with The News Station during some time back in Orlando.
“I just I need him. This is the person I chose to spend the rest of my life with and I want that to come true,” said Meghan Valencia.
When asked how she is doing, her response was, “I tend to not answer that question to be perfectly honest. I have moments where I just sort of lose everything and cry and get myself together and go okay, I’ve got to take care of business now.”
For her, the new normal is alternating a week and a half at home caring for the couple’s two young sons and a week and a half advocating for Kevin from his bedside at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
“Kevin is stable, which is a good thing. Unfortunately he is still in a coma and he hasn’t made much progress because he’s pretty much had surgery after surgery after surgery after surgery. So it’s a little bit difficult to kind of judge where he’s at,” said Meghan.
Friday afternoon during our interview, Kevin was back in surgery. He’s had several since he was taken down in the line of duty. This one is removing scar tissue from around his trachea which has been making it a challenge for him to breathe. Between all his surgeries, Meghan says he gets back to a baseline, but hasn’t had time to really recover.
“Because as a brain injury patient anesthesia takes a very long time to get out of his system just because your brain can’t process things through your system as quickly,” Meghan explained.
She says he’ll take one step forward and two steps back, but today’s surgery should be the last major one. Hopefully once he’s finished with these surgeries and he has time to re-cooperate he’ll start coming back.
Kevin is in the Disorders of Consciousness Program at the world renowned Shepherd Center.
“Their program really specializes in trying to help people emerge from comas. It’s teaching us as Kevin’s family how to take care of him. What we can do to help his progress. That includes simple things like moving his fingers for him, keeping range of motion is important him out,” Meghan explained.
Meghan believes moral support is helping both of them. Close family members, friends, and fellow officers take turns being at his bedside when Meghan can’t be there. When Meghan is there, law enforcement officers from across the area who were at one time complete strangers have now become her friend, stopping by keeping her company and bringing her food when she’s at Kevin’s bedside.
Doctors told Meghan is nothing short of a miracle that Kevin survived the shooting. She’s credits her faith in God and prayer for that. And, she’s asking for continued support from the community to help her Kevin on his road to recovery.
“The public can help me with just praying, honestly,” she said with tears flowing down her cheeks. “I just, I need my husband. This has been the hardest time in my life.”
The Fraternal Order of Police set up at Go Fund Me account for the Valencia family. Click here for more.