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With 15 gallons of blood, volunteer donors kept police officer Mike Blood alive after being shot in the line of duty.

November 16, 2000 is a date the Edina community—and one police officer in particular—will never forget. A robber entered a bank in this normally quiet Minneapolis suburb, demanded that a teller fill a duffle bag with money, and then fled. Officer Mike Blood, a 29-year veteran of the Edina police force and mere weeks from retirement, was first on the scene. “As a police officer, you don’t want to go directly to the bank,” he commented. “You want to get the advantage. I tried to find his getaway car, and spotted a green Ford Explorer with no front license plate in a nearby parking lot. I peeked in the driver-side window, saw a pile of guns and ammo, and said to myself, ‘I think this is the person.’”

As Mike was preparing to surprise and apprehend the robber, the tables turned. Mike remembers the chain of events in great detail. “As I put my gun in my holster to return to my squad car, the dispatcher told me that the robber was going out the back door of the bank. Two seconds later, he was standing ten feet away from me.” Opening fire with an assault rifle, the robber shot at Mike, hitting his hips, right leg, and abdomen. Other officers conducted a high-speed chase as Mike lay in the parking lot, where a rookie officer on her first day on patrol and a passerby worked to slow Mike’s bleeding. “They kept me alive until the paramedics got there,” said Mike.

Mike spent a year in the hospital. “I had 19 operations—14 of them immediately—where they needed 120 units of blood to keep me alive,” recalls Mike. “If we didn’t have this fantastic supply of clean, healthy blood, I wouldn’t have had a chance. It’s been a pretty long recovery. I had five months where I couldn’t get out of bed.”

It took several years before Mike was walking again, which took on special meaning in the summer of 2007. “One of the things I kept thinking when I lay in my hospital bed was that I just wanted to be around to see my kids get married.” On June 16, 2007, Mike walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.