Chester police officer, still unconscious, has suffered many profound injuries

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    CHESTER-Chester Town of Police Detective Sal Ardisi has known Robert Ferrara for about seven years. "He is one of my closest friends," Ardisi told The Advertiser on Wednesday. "We made pacts to take care of each other if anything ever happened to each other." Ferrara, also a town police officer, has been unconscious since the night of July 20, when his cruiser crashed into an SUV he was chasing on Greycourt Road in the Village of Chester. (Please see related story on page 46.) Ardisi said he is acting as a liaison for Ferrara's family, who live in Washingtonville. "I'm making sure his bills are paid," he said. Ferrara's injuries are far more serious than his reported condition of "stable" would convey. "He's been sedated and made unconscious medically because he didn't take well to transfusions," Ardisi said. The transfusions were given to treat his wounds and loss of blood, he said. But then an infection set in. Ardisi said Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla has informed him that Ferrara will probably be in the hospital for at least a month, and will most likely spend some five months in a wheelchair. Then he'll have to learn how to walk again. His wife, Gina, has decided their seven-year-old daughter, Marissa, should not yet see her father. New York State Troop F Investigator Patrick Beyea was on the scene of the accident. He and Ardisi cataloged Ferrara's many injuries: a punctured lung, a ruptured spleen, a lacerated liver, a kidney abrasion, a laceration to his head. He suffered multiple fractures throughout his body: two femurs, an ankle, a wrist, two collarbones, three ribs, a pelvis, and an arm. He's already undergone several surgeries. Ardisi was on vacation on the night of the accident. But when he received a call from the hospital, he and his wife went right to Valhalla. Members of Ferrara's family were there. Ferrara was still conscious. He spoke to his friend. "Sal, am I going to be all right?" he asked. "Yeah," responded Ardisi. "Don't bull---- me," said Ferrara. Those are the last words Ferrara spoke just before his sedation set in. Ardisi said Ferrara not only has exceptional skills as a police officer, but has great people skills as well. Ferrara never looks to be in the spotlight but is always working behind the scenes. Ardisi called Ferrara the "architect" of the Police Benevolent Association Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt started with a few hundred people attending, he said, but has since grown to attract crowds of 1,500 to 2,000. A blood drive to honor Officer Ferrara will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, at the Sugar Loaf Fire Department. A fundraiser is in the works — what fellow officers call a "10-13 party," which refers to the code used when an officer needs assistance in a dire situation. Details will be forthcoming, said Detective Ardisi. "Robert is probably one of the finest police officers I've ever seen," he said. "He is unbelievable."