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SLMPD officer wounded in line of duty makes pitch for blood donations

Doctors used 39 units of blood, enough to replace your total blood volume three times over, to save Officer Colin Ledbetter after he was shot in January.

ST. LOUIS — It’s every little kid’s dream in St. Louis to step onto the field at Busch Stadium and throw a pitch, but it’s a dream that no one imagined Colin Ledbetter living out just six months ago.

“I could never imagine this,” said Colin Ledbetter. “It was definitely a dream come true. We went through a traumatic event, but I feel like I’m stronger for it.”

On Jan. 26, 2022, Officer Ledbetter and his partner 28-year-old Nathan Spiess were shot while pursuing a homicide suspect in Ferguson.

“His parents will tell you I didn’t think he had much of a chance,” said Dr. Douglas Schuerer, Director of Trauma at BJC.

Ultimately it took Dr. Schuerer and a team of surgeons 39 units of blood to save Ledbetter.

“Without the support of all the anonymous donors, he wouldn’t be here,” said Dr. Schuerer.

“Thirty-nine units of blood is astronomically crazy,” said Ledbetter.

Now Ledbetter is using his platform to inspire others.

“Blood saves lives,” said Ledbetter.

According to American Red Cross of St. Louis Executive Director Beth Elders, there is still a critical shortage in our area.

“Our blood supply is something that we constantly need,” said Elders. “Every two seconds somebody needs blood, and that’s why we need people to roll up their sleeves and give.”

“It’s so important,” said Dr. Schuerer. “You don’t know who is going to need it.  It could be your loved one. Unfortunately, trauma impacts people of all ages, and it’s not planned.”

“I’m definitely going to be a donor,” said Ledbetter. “I wasn’t before, and I regret it, but I will be now for the rest of my life.”

For more information on how you can donate during the 19th annual Cardinals Red Cross Blood Drive click here.

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