BOSTON (CBS) – It is the power of the human spirit, the ability to turn pain and suffering into something positive. That’s the story of Officer Dic Donohue who was severely injured in the shootout with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects last April.

Donohue and his wife Kim actually feel lucky today, and have found a very personal way to say thank you to the strangers who saved the Transit Police Officer’s life. They spend a lot of their free time these days at blood drives thanking donors.

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To donate: Dic Donohue Red Cross Blood Donation

After getting shot in the femoral artery, Donohue lost a tremendous amount of blood. “Back last April, after I was shot, I bled out pretty good. I received 46 total units of blood, and that’s a heck of a lot of blood. I am a living breathing example of anonymous donors coming out, giving blood, putting me back together.”

Donohue was caught in the crossfire in Watertown as the Tsarnaev brothers desperately tried to escape in the middle of the night. He was transported to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.

So much blood was needed to keep Donohue alive that police escorts brought it from other hospitals in the area, and from the Red Cross in Dedham.

Kim Donohue saw officers rushing through the halls of the hospital carrying huge boxes. She said, “I remember asking a nurse what that was and she said ‘That is blood for your husband.’ It became really clear at that moment, number one, how dire the situation was, and number two, how important it was to have that blood available.”

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State Trooper Chris Dumont, who is also an EMT, was one of the first people to treat Donohue at the scene of the shooting. He said Donohue might not be alive today if everything didn’t line up just right.

“We needed to move him fast and get a rapid transport which we did,” said Dumont. “The hospital staff was able to work on him fast, and without the blood, the blood just brought it home, the blood was able to complete cycle.”

Almost immediately, the Donohues felt they had a debt of gratitude to pay back. “He wouldn’t be alive,” said Kim Donohue.

Donna Morrissey of the Red Cross added, “When he first started helping us, he was in a wheelchair, and then he sponsored his first blood drive on crutches.”

When asked how he has lived through this ordeal without getting angry or bitter, Donohue replied, “I think that what the whole community has done for me has really taken any bitterness or anger out of the equation.”

Dic and Kim Donohue plan on attending a blood drive in Watertown on April 19th to mark the anniversary of the shooting.

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