CHICAGO (CBS) — A 29-year-old Chicago Police officer has been named the Police Memorial Foundation’s Officer of the Month for saving the life of an eight-month-old boy.
Officer Paul Pulkownik did not pull the infant to safety in the middle of gunfire or from a burning building. Instead, this past Spring, he gave the boy more than one liter of bone marrow from his lower back. The boy has a condition that needed marrow to save his life.
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation executive director Phil Cline said, “Officer Pulkownik is a true hero who volunteered to go under the knife to help a young boy — a sacrifice of giving to others unselfishly.”
Pulkownik says he’d advise others to also become marrow donors. “It was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It felt amazing to do,” he added.
Pulkownik had signed up to be a bone marrow donor in 2011 while in the military. He wasn’t called until last year to say he was a potential match. Then, he got the call in March that he was a perfect match.
“It was very surreal,” he said. “I had signed up so long ago, I didn’t expect to get the call. So when I did and they asked me if I’d do it, I jumped at the opportunity.”
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Officer Pulkownik donated 1,200 milliliters of marrow. It took him eight weeks before he was able to walk normally again, and three months before he was fully recovered.
He’s back to work now, and the baby is doing well.
Officer Pulkownik grew up in Bolingbrook and says he always wanted to be a police officer.