Second chances, honor and blessings

On May 22, 2001, a drug suspect shot Houston police officer Enrique "Rick" DuHarte-Tur four times and killed his best friend and partner.

Rick was rushed to Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital and learned later that the chances of his survival were 50-50. Among other injuries, he suffered a lacerated liver and collapsed lung. He needed a number of surgeries and survived a post-surgical embolism.

“I was blessed by God, the surgeons, nurses and entire staff who were part of my recovery and survival,” Rick says. “They were unbelievably helpful to me and my family and friends. When a police officer is shot, hundreds of people may converge on the hospital at any one time. The people at Ben Taub found room for them.”

Rick’s wife was seven months pregnant with the couple’s second child when the shooting occurred.  He says, “I wanted to be there for my children. My faith and determination got me through. I wanted to make the best of my life to honor my partner. I was given a second chance, and he wasn’t.”

He grabbed that chance and ran with it. After extensive rehabilitation, he returned to full duty in January 2003. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Leadership and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

Honoring an unwritten promise, he considers his partner’s wife and children part of his extended family. Rick says the shooting forced him to prioritize what’s important in his life. “I’m trying to be a better man,” he says. “I have three children, a happy family. I’m blessed.

“I’ll never forget how I was treated at Ben Taub. In law enforcement, we always heard that there’s no better place than Ben Taub for trauma,” he says. “Now I know that for a fact.”

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