NEW YORK -- When doctors at Kings County Hospital first saw the hours-old boy, he looked like he'd been through a war: He was in shock, blue from the cold, with stab wounds comparable to battlefield injuries.
Two weeks later, he still has some scars and stitches, but he's a veteran of love and affection.
Officially he's John Doe, because he was abandoned and police haven't found his mother. Doctors amazed at his resiliency nicknamed him "Tough Guy," but nurses who cuddle him and bring him gifts call him "Patrick Linden."
"The nurses gave him an identity," said head nurse Lucille Johnson as she adjusted the infant's blue-and-white striped blanket yesterday. "Patrick, because he was found close to St. Patrick's Day, and Linden because he was found on Linden Boulevard.
"Pat" was found March 25 on a garbage pile outside an East Flatbush, Brooklyn, apartment house. He had been stabbed three times and left to die in plastic bags. He was taken to Kings County's emergency room.
"His chest wound was like a battlefield wound," said Dr. Leonard
Doctors and nurses worked at breakneck speed to stabilize the infant for surgery, which lasted 2 1/2 hours. "It was a cooperative effort," Dr. Glass said.
His improvement has been drastic, said Dr. Kimon Violaris. "He started on regular infant formula after a few days; now he behaves like a normal newborn."
After about a week in the neonatal intensive care unit, "Pat" is now in a convalescent ward in good enough shape to be released. His weight increased from 6 pounds, 9 ounces at birth to 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
"He should have died; now he's a cute little kid who'll be OK," said Dr. Glass.
Lt. John Santimauro said callers from around the country offered money or asked about the baby's condition.
"People were saying they couldn't sleep thinking what happened to that kid," he said.