NEW YORK – The NYPD has not forgotten the miracle girl who survived her father’s suicide jump in front of a moving Bronx subway train — and after spending Friday visiting police mounted units and boats as well as being sworn in as an honorary “officer,” she won’t soon forget them, either.
“The horse and the boat!” shy Ferni Balbuena, 5, said of her favorite things from a daylong visit with the NYPD, reported the New York Post.
Ferni made dramatic headlines in September when her father, who’d been struggling with mental illness, jumped in front of a train with her in his arms.
Somehow, she survived virtually unscathed beneath the train, despite her father’s fatal injuries.
On Friday, Ferni, who lives with her mother in the Bronx, was treated to a day of festivities courtesy of the NYPD’s “Hope Trip” program for children who have suffered traumatic incidents.
Today is Ferni Balbuena’s #NYPD Hope Trip. Ferni was rescued unharmed last month after her father jumped onto the tracks with her. She found a few minutes to stop by my office before heading over to the Mounted Unit. pic.twitter.com/lDPV8rnZd7
— Chief Fausto Pichardo (@NYPDChiefPatrol) November 15, 2019
A photo tweeted by Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison shows the two smiling side by side.
“She found a few minutes to stop by my office before heading over to the Mounted Unit,” Harrison’s tweet read.
Ferni is wearing an adorable, pint-size NYPD-issue shirt, tie and police hat in the charming photo.
And the young miracle girl was still wearing her new uniform — and still smiling — back home with mom hours later.
“I got to eat pizza,” the girl recalled, hiding behind her mom in her doorway as she spoke.
“The Hope Program is connecting through heroism, optimism, pride and encouragement and was started in March 2018,” NYPD Spokeswoman Detective Annette Shelton told The Post.
After Ferni’s visit with the Chief of Patrol and the Assistant Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo, the girl got to visit other compelling areas of the department.
“Ella estaba divertido!” her mother, Niurka Caraballo, said gratefully, over and over — Spanish for “She was happy!”