35-year-old HPD officer progressing after 2 1/2 month battle with COVID-19


HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Honolulu Police Officer continues to recover in the hospital after his battle with COVID-19. 35-year-old BJ Miralles has spent 80 days in the hospital and is starting to show some signs of improvement.

Miralles was hospitalized after a cluster of COVID-19 cases broke out at the Wahiawa Police Station in November. He was put into a medically induced coma, and remains hospitalized, but he began making gradual strides in early January.

“That’s when he just started making a huge progress,” BJ’s wife Rochelle Miralles said. “They keep saying he’s making leaps and bounds. So it’s amazing to see because, just in this past week I think he’s more of himself like more of the BJ that we all know,”

Miralles has been able to take days off of the ventilator

but still has to use one at night. The steady improvements, like BJ’s first time eating again, are giving the family some renewed hope.

“First thing that he asked was for burgers, so I brought him a burger and he enjoyed it. Like he savored every bite that he could take,” Rochelle laughed.

On Tuesday, he was able to muster enough strength for another first: a kiss for his wife.

“He’s been really weak. So for him to sit up like when I came in to the hospital and I gave him a hug, he sat up and he gave me a kiss on my forehead, and that was the sweetest,” Rochelle said.

A father of three, BJ still hasn’t been able to see his daughters in-person since he was hospitalized due to protocols at Queen’s Medical Center.

That’s giving him all the more reason to continue his fight to recovery.

“He’s got the biggest smile whenever he sees them on FaceTime so I know he’s waiting that day and he’s really trying hard to get out of the hospital,” Rochelle said.

The hospital staff members that have taken care of BJ have been described by the Miralles family as heroic.

It’s another reminder for the rest of us to take the right precautions to help ease the burden on our healthcare workers and first responders.

“Please give them more love and support because they are working hard, and they come home to their families too and they have a need to be careful and protect their families as well,” Rochelle said. “So protect yourself and your families and others. We can all get through this pandemic together.”

BJ will continue rehabilitation and physical therapy as he remains on dialysis due to the impact strong medications have had on his kidneys. The Miralles family has a GoFundMe to help with the financial burden of medical costs.

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