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Wounded Chicago cop on the road to recovery, honored by the Bears

December 2, 2012 4:41:31 PM PST
The road to recovery took another step Sunday for wounded Chicago Police Officer Del Pearson as he took part in Bears pre-game festivities at Soldier Field.

It was a day Pearson and his daughter will never forget.

"It's mixed emotions being out here," Pearson said. "It's a dream come true to be on the sidelines of a Chicago Bears game."

The highly decorated officer had the honor of handing the official coin to the referee for the coin toss at 50 yard line for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

"I told all the guys at the police department after i handed to coin off, I was going to snatch the football out of the ref's hands and make a break for the end zone and do the Heisman pose," he said.

Also wearing the jersey of one of her favorite players, Pearson's daughter Samantha took it all in as she attended her first ever Bears game with her dad.

"We've all been a team the whole family going through this," Samantha Pearson said. "We're just glad that he's here and he's getting better."

The recognition comes almost nine months after Pearson was shot in the chest just above his protective vest and nearly died as he chased a gunman during his regular overnight shift in the South Chicago district.

"It's amazing to see this when it turns out this way," the nurse who cared for Pearson Mary Ann Brook said.

After a five and a half hour surgery to save his life, the second generation Chicago cop left the hospital eight days later.

Since the March 19th attack, the 47-year-old has made steady progress in his recovery by undergoing physical therapy two or three times a week for nerve damage to his left arm and hand caused by the shooting.

"The feeling is coming back however the motor nerves are not responding as quickly as possible," Pearson said.

The nerve damage is postponing his return to full-time duty.

Del Pearson is trying to enjoy his path to recovery and his life.

"It's a huge honor to be a part of the greatest police force in the country," he said.


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