Sikh Temple hero inspires Milwaukee-area blood drive

CREATED Dec. 26, 2013

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Blood drives are common this time of year, when donations are down because of the holidays.

Retired Oak Creek Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy wants to turn that around, because blood donations saved his life.

After the Sikh Temple shooting, Murphy was in critical condition and received several pints of bloods from donors.

"Because there were multiple surgeries, I got two units for each surgery. Hopefully the surgeries are done, but probably in total I received four our five units," said Murphy.

Murphy has been repeatedly honored for his brave actions on the day of the Sikh Temple shooting. Murphy survived 17 gunshots trying to save the lives of others.

Dozens of donors showed up in force at the Blood Center of Wisconsin Blood Drive at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Several members of the Sikh community were first time donors, to honor Murphy.

Some donors just wanted to meet him to thank him for his service.

"He is a definition of a hero to us, someone who literally laid down his life to basically save anyone in our community," said Kanwardeep Sing Kaleka. "The fact that we needed blood to save his life means there are a lot of other heroes to be saved out there."

The overwhelming response to the blood drive moved Murphy.

"To see so many people out here the day after Christmas is just an awesome feeling.  As far as the Sikh community, I expect nothing less from them because they've been so supportive."

Murphy did his part, donating a pint, noting that blood donors are the real heroes.
The blood drive continues through 7pm Thursday at the Peck Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo. It continues Friday from 7am to 7pm.