Blood drive for Smith County deputy injured in courthouse shooting deemed a success

Published on Friday, 14 July 2017 20:42 - Written by FAITH HARPER, fharper@tylerpaper.com

Law enforcement personnel are known for their tight bond and helping one another, and Friday was no exception as they waited in long lines to give blood for a brethren in need.

A Carter BloodCare bus was in front of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office administration building, 227 N. Spring Ave., for most of the day, with a steady stream of people going in for blood draws and coming out with colorful bandages on one arm.

Smith County deputies Sherman Dollison and Josh Hill are the beneficiaries of the drive.

Dollison was shot multiple times during the 2005 Smith County Courthouse shooting, and currently is on dialysis. Hill agreed to donate one of his kidneys.

Their surgeries are upcoming.

“It’s been a long wait today, but if Sherman can lay on that courthouse lawn and almost bleed to death, I can give some of my time …” said Tony Dana, deputy city marshal. “He’s a great guy, always has been. He’s sacrificed a lot for this county, but he’s not unlike a lot of officers in this community.”

The lobby of the sheriff’s office turned into an impromptu reunion of various law enforcement personnel, with people reminiscing while sipping on juice and munching on cookies.

“It’s been great,” Dana said. “I’ve seen a lot of old friends and old law enforcement. … I’ll leave with a full heart today.”

But not all the people who came to give blood were law enforcement.

Ashley Standifer, a teacher at Bullard ISD, saw the event on Facebook and decided to help.

“I try to give regularly to help others,” she said. “It’s been about a year ago, and I’ve been thinking I need give and decided to (come to the drive).”

Carter BloodCare said as of 11 a.m., there were 55 people signed up to give at the drive.

The center’s stock of blood generally goes down in the summer, and Friday’s donations would help refill the shelves.

Twitter: @TMTFaith