NORWALK, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — She stood by her injured husband’s side not just to help him, but thousands of others that may one day be in the same situation.

And she was told to give up repeatedly — that it wouldn’t happen.

On Thursday, CBS2’s Jessica Layton learned more about “Phil’s Bill” and how it’s changing laws.

While retired police officer Phil Roselle still has a long recovery ahead of him, one thing that won’t be weighing on his shoulders anymore are financial issues.

Phil Roselle (Photo: CBS2)

“In the hospital I was like, ‘OK, well, I survived that part,’ but I knew that there were more problems in the future,” Roselle said.

In September of 2017, the 30-year-veteran of the Norwalk Police Department was accidentally shot while at his precinct’s shooting range.

“It went through my arm and into my chest, where the bullet still remains,” Roselle said.

Officer Roselle is a diabetic. The injuries were so severe he was forced to retire. Eventually his kidneys failed and now he’s on dialysis until he gets a transplant. His wife can’t help him with that, but found another way to lend a hand.

“I saw him losing some hope and I needed to fight and I was trying to figure out what I could do,” Debbie Roselle said.

While he fought for his health, she fought for his compensation, lobbying and testifying in front of politicians in an attempt to change Connecticut law.

“I was told from the very beginning, ‘What you’re doing is impossible. Just stop while you’re ahead,'” Debbie said.

She wanted public safety state employees to receive their entire pension until they’re 65 if they’re forced into retirement by an injury, not the up to 75 percent that existed. After more than a year of pushing for this bill, it was passed on Wednesday.

“These first responders put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve us, so that we can be safe and God forbid something happens, they need to be protected,” Debbie said.

Debbie fought and won not just for her husband, but for everyone who keeps the state safe.

The governor still has to sign the bill into law, but is expected to very soon.


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