The warm reunion — much to the surprise of the officer — left him visibly emotional.
“I can’t thank you enough,” said Miami Beach Police Officer J.C. Sampedro, who is wearing a supplemental oxygen device.
“Your prayers were heard and the big man upstairs pulled through. My family, you guys have been the best,” he added as people clapped their hands and cheered. “Thank you so much.”
A HERO IS BACK HOME: After being hospitalized in July with COVID-19, Miami Beach Police Officer JC Sampedro is back home. Sampedro spent 11 weeks in the ICU where he had to be intubated and placed on a ventilator. Thankfully, Sampedro is on the road to recovery. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/FI1MPK8f3d
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) November 15, 2021
The tearful moment was recorded on video and uploaded online, initially showing Broward Health North hospital wheeling Sampedro out of the health facility to a welcoming crowd of uniform-dressed officers, friends cheering, and his family members holding encouraging signs.
“We missed you, Papa Bear,” one sign read.
“Love you, Dad,” said a pair of other signs.
The officer received numerous supportive comments on social media as well.
“A hero is back home,” the Miami Beach Police department said in a tweet, with a video of the moment. “After being hospitalized in July with COVID-19, Miami Beach Police Officer JC Sampedro is back home. Thankfully, Sampedro is on the road to recovery.”
“Get well soon. Wishing you a speedy recovery!” One user commented on the video, posted to the Miami Beach police department’s account.
“Welcome back hero,” another user said. And, “Continue to recover and get strong.”
Sampedro, also a United States Marine, was initially hospitalized in July. The recovery effort included intubation and a ventilator, according to the Miami Beach Police Department, but Sampedro is now doing well enough to leave the hospital. Sampedro has been with MBPD since 1996.