LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Four weeks after he was shot in the head while responding to a mass shooting in downtown Louisville, Metro Police Officer Nick Wilt has been taken off of the ventilator and all other life-sustaining equipment.
Louisville Metro Police shared the update from Wilt's family in a Facebook post Monday evening, four weeks after the April 10 shooting at Old National Bank that claimed the lives of five people.
"Officer Wilt's condition has been improving steadily all week, and he remains on the correct path to recovery," the post read.
Wilt, one of the first officers who responded to the scene, ran into the danger on what was his fourth shift ever on the force. He was rushed to University of Louisville Hospital and into brain surgery.
"During a procedure today, it's been determined the bullet is not a threat to the brain or its blood vessels," Wilt's family said in the post, adding that the doctor said the bullet is in a crucial area, but "for this type of injury the damage is minimal."
In Monday's update, Wilt's family said he "has shown neurological improvement" and can now follow some commands. Additionally, he continues to show improvements with the infections he's also been fighting.
Last month, Wilt suffered a setback when he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which is common for patients placed on a ventilator. He was moved to Jewish Hospital, which specializes in lung treatment. Last week, after being off of a ventilator or ECMO for 48 hours, he was moved back to UofL Hospital where he's being monitored by the trauma team.
An EMCO is a device used to pump blood "outside of your body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body. Blood flows from the right side of the heart to the membrane oxygenator in the heart-lung machine, and then is rewarmed and sent back to the body. This method allows the blood to "bypass" the heart and lungs, allowing these organs to rest and heal," according to the Mayo Clinic.
While he's still fighting pneumonia and "other lung complications," his progress "is remarkable," his family said, as he enters the "long haul" of his recovery. And while his recovery will "undoubtedly be difficult," he "remains strong and determined."
Wilt's family also said doctors are talking about getting him into Neuro Rehab within the next week, something they called a "significant milestone" in his recovery.
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