By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Davies, critically wounded in the line of duty last August, is speaking out about his courageous struggle to survive and the lifesaving efforts of fellow officers and doctors at Temple Hospital.
"I heard a 'boom', that's when I stood up, felt a hotness in my body, and just knew right there I was shot," the seven-year veteran told CBS 3's Walt Hunter in an exclusive interview.
Davies was shot point blank with a high-powered handgun inside a Feltonville store where he and other officers were trying to subdue an armed suspect.
"I said, 'listen, you gotta' get me to the hospital now, I've just been shot,'" Davies say he told his fellow officer, who scooped him up, put him into her car and raced him to Temple Hospital.
Davies now recalls telling the officer from the backseat, "tell my family I love them. I just thought of my wife and kids."
Doctors now say the wounded officer's window of survival could have been measured in seconds, rather than minutes, and they credit the actions of Davies fellow officer with saving his life.
"The bullet went through my left side and exited above my thigh," explained Davies, who added that doctors were able to strip veins from both his legs, implanting them in his stomach cavity, stopping the bleeding and giving him a chance to survive. Finally, after 37 agonizing days, wearing his favorite Eagles shirt, he was released from the hospital, but not before getting a special goodbye from the surgeon who knew just how close he had come.
"She gave me a great big hug," Davies recalled, "She was crying."
Walking with a cane, in constant pain, Davies, who lost a kidney, and faces months of surgery and therapy, praised his fellow officer who, he says, drove him to the hospital faster than he thought possible.
"Gave her a big kiss, told her I love her, she's a great person and a great cop."
Finally, Davies told Hunter, his dream is to heal and rejoin his fellow officers, fighting the violence that, on a day last August came so terribly close to ending his life.
"Never wanted to work anywhere but the 25th District," Davies told Hunter."They are just great, they are my family and I love them."
The trial for the alleged gunman accused of trying to kill Officer Davies is now set for June.
Meanwhile, he says he's excited about plans to have him throw out the first pitch at the May 16th Phillies game and about receiving the department's Valor Award, the highest honor that can be conferred on any officer.
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