Dennis Boyd has spent most of his working life drawing blood from people’s veins.
He’s not a doctor, but as a certified phlebotomist, he has a basic understanding of the human circulatory system.
So when his Chicago Police officer twin brother — blood leaking from his right leg — pounded on the front door of the home they share on the South Side one night last March, Boyd knew he couldn’t dawdle.
“I noticed he was bleeding because I had blood on my hands when I pulled him in,” said Boyd, 49, as he and his brother, Stephen Boyd, were honored Wednesday by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. “I figured I better stop the bleeding.”
Officer Boyd, returning from studying for the CPD detective’s exam, had been shot during an attempted robbery in front of the Boyd home in the Washington Heights neighborhood. Both robbers, one of whom was shot during an exchange of gunfire with Officer Boyd, were later arrested.
Stephen Boyd is quick with a joke (he does amateur standup comedy), likes to flirt with the ladies. His brother is the quiet one, and on Wednesday, he modestly described how he yanked his belt off and applied a tourniquet above his wounded brother’s right knee.
“I learned from past experiences in my life that it does no one any good to panic or lose control,” Dennis Boyd said.
Boyd kept talking to his brother, telling him to hold on, to stay conscious, that he was going to be OK.
About 4 1/2 months later, the brothers stood side by side at the awards ceremony on the Near West Side.
“I’m walking funny, I have a limp, I have a lot of nerve pain, but I’m not dead,” Officer Boyd said. “So I’m focusing on that.”
Boyd said his rehab progress is “day to day,” but added, “I intend to go back to full duty, go to the streets and continue to fight the forces of evil.”
He thanked his brother, told the small gathering that they are “extremely close,” and then joked: “He owes me $100, and he told me, ‘Didn’t I save your life?!’ So I’m messed up for the rest of my life.”