ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CBSDC) — So many people turned out for the Virtue Feed & Grain fundraiser for injured Alexandria police officer Peter Laboy Sunday that the owner cancelled all evening dinner reservations, even though the event was only supposed to last through 6 p.m., and dedicated the entire night to the cause.
Laboy’s friends and family members could be spotted in the crowd wearing Superman t-shirts, both because the hero is the veteran officer’s favorite comic book character and to signify his miraculous recovery.
“Peter is making unbelievable strides hour by hour,” Laboy’s wife Suzanne wrote on an online journal last week. “It’s surprising but not really. He’s my husband and I know how he thinks and what he’s capable of, especially after this critical week.”
Laboy was shot in the head during a routine traffic stop Feb. 27. To everyone’s amazement, he has already begun sitting up, eating and speaking.
Just after the shooting, doctors were amazed that the 45-year-old veteran motorcycle officer and father of four was even breathing.
“It’s actually quite remarkable he’s alive today,” said Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief medical officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Northwest D.C. after Laboy underwent several hours of surgery immediately after the shooting. “I’m hopeful but cautious.”
By later that week, he had demonstrated movement in his arms and legs.
“For now, that remains remarkable,” Orlowski explained then.
Laboy has continued to amaze.
“Looks like his swallowing is good and he tolerated a spoonful of applesauce,” Suzanne Laboy wrote in the online journal last week. “When I asked him how he’s doing today, he answers ‘Good’.”
While documenting his progress, she has also acknowledged that the family is forever changed. But, she writes, they recognize that they are blessed by her husband’s amazing and unexpected progress.
Even excluding the restaurant fundraiser, the Alexandria Police Department has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Laboy already.
The Alexandria Police Association, a not-for-profit fraternal organization serving members of the department, has set up a Facebook page for Laboy. A weekend post on the page said the goal was to get the number of “likes” up to 1,731, Laboy’s badge number. That goal was surpassed before the restaurant fundraiser was over.
The total amount raised has not been released, but items up for auction included vacation rentals and sports memorabilia.