ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – The Red Cross held a “Community Call to Action” Wednesday in honor of first responders, especially inspired by Colin Ledbetter.
On January 26, St. Louis police officer Colin Ledbetter and his partner were both shot in the line of duty and rushed to Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Ledbetter’s injuries were significant, but thanks to the medical team and a large amount of blood, he survived.
“Donating blood saves lives,” says Ledbetter. “I am a product of it.”
While recovering at the hospital, Ledbetter needed 39 units of blood. The amount of blood Ledbetter needs is more than three times what anyone has in their body.
“I feel great,” says Ledbetter. “Obviously, I won’t be back to 100%. I may be looking at medical retirement in the near future, so I’m trying to find different ways to give back to the community because it’s still my passion. “
Ledbetter hopes to save his own life by donating blood, just as others have helped save his.
He is now one step closer after being cleared by his doctors for the first time since the shooting.
“Full circle,” says Ledbetter. “It makes me wonder where my blood would go or if it would be in a similar situation to save someone else’s life.”
Beth Elders of the American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis says donating blood is one thing people can do to make a difference.
“We as a society call our first responders many times,” says Elder. “Now they are calling us to action. They call on us to roll up our sleeves because we know that thousands of them have been injured in the line of duty and many need blood.”
On Wednesday, more than 70 people donated blood at the “Community Call to Action” event.
As for what Ledbetter will do after resigning from SLMPD, it remains to be seen.
However, Ledbetter says he knows serving his community will always be a top priority.
“Honestly, it’s an exciting point,” says Ledbetter. “I’m going to be a 20-year-old again to decide what to do with my life.”
Ledbetter plans to pay back the amount of blood he needed to survive. After donating one on Wednesday, he has only 38 left to donate.
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