• Today's Daily Devotion
Take Mine First!
ARRIVING at Harbor UCLA Hospital, we went immediately to Surgery. The injured officer was just being wheeled in, and we began “the wait.” In the eerie quiet we ...

TAKE MINE FIRST!

Chaim Kolodny, NHA, CMC, EMT-I

Senior Bureau Chaplain Los Angeles, CA, Police Department

ARRIVING at Harbor UCLA Hospital, we went immediately to Surgery. The injured officer was just being wheeled in, and we began “the wait.” In the eerie quiet we were all on edge. How badly is he hurt? Was it a head, heart, or belly shot? With most of the body’s “important” organs there, a bullet in the gut is fatal at worst and horribly destructive at best. We talked about life, God, and everything in between. The wounded officer’s partner was traumatized by what happened to his partner, in a “tough guy” sort of way. After the shots were fired, he had pulled his partner into the car, used an emergency trauma kit to help stop the blood loss, and radioed for help.

About this time we learned a lot of blood had been lost. Quickly, dozens of officers who had come to the hospital were lining up to donate blood: “Take mine first!” After what seemed like hours, the doctors said our officer would survive; the bullet had caused a deep and bloody flesh wound with no major internal damage. This was the best news we’d heard all night! Meanwhile, Air Support was flying in the officer’s wife and young daughter in a chopper; they were about twenty minutes out.

By the time they arrived the officer had been wheeled into a recovery room, the breathing tube and ventilator had been removed, and he was able to speak with them and the LAPD cChief, a welcome comforter in situations like this.

The good doctor took me aside and confided, “That officer is one very lucky kid; someone was watching over him tonight!” His recovery would be swift: first the recovery room, then ICU overnight as a precaution, to a regular room next day, and then “home, sweet home.” Several officers turned to me and asked, Could we have a prayer of thanksgiving? Of course I said yes.

I won’t attempt to describe the family reunion, as that could not do justice to the true thanksgiving and miracle we witnessed that night. But I will say this about the department: The care, concern, and compassion I witnessed that night is just a glimpse into what I see on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, police officers are human beings who make mistakes, but they care about the community and do their jobs honorably and courageously. Like the officers who wanted to give their blood “first,” they stand the possibility every day of “giving their blood” for us. They are true heroes!

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