Mike Madland was in and out of consciousness and losing blood at an alarming rate.
The last thing he remembers of the night of March 23 is lying on a gurney in the back of an ambulance.
He doesn't remember dying twice.
A .45-caliber slug had severed the Las Vegas police officer's femoral artery in his right groin. He nearly bled out.
His heart stopped as paramedics rushed him through the doors at University Medical Center. It would stop once again before he was out of danger.
Later, after he struggled up from the darkness, he was surprised when a nurse began applying shaving cream to his face.
"I asked her what she was doing,'' he said. "I had shaved before going to work."
He had no idea he had grown a beard during a weeklong induced coma.
Madland, 32, recently recalled the story at the Metropolitan Police Department's South Central Area Command, where on Jan. 20 he returned to work as a part-time intelligence unit officer following nearly 10 months in recovery.
"It's been a long time coming," Madland said.
Madland was shot twice -- a bullet hit him in the chest, but was stopped by his body armor -- while chasing a robbery suspect in the area of Washington Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard.
A three-year veteran of the department on the night he was shot, Madland was working with the saturation team, which targets high-crime areas. At 8:55 p.m., patrol officers at Charleston and Rainbow boulevards checked the plates on a Mercedes and discovered that it was reported stolen. A short car chase ended at Washington and Rainbow, where the driver and a passenger abandoned the car and fled on foot. Madland and his partner were there as a backup team.
The passenger, Marvin Wilson, 45, was quickly caught by Madland's partner, Christopher LeBlanc. But the driver, Damon Beal, 26, sprinted south with Madland on his tail.
Beal had a criminal history that included arrests for attempted sexual assault and possession of a controlled substance. He was fast on his feet.
Running through residential backyards, Beal cleared three fences but struggled with the fourth, allowing Madland to close ground. As the officer jumped over the last fence between them, Beal turned and shot him.
Though he has never been branded with a hot iron, Madland said he now knows what it feels like.
Though wounded, Madland kept running and tackled Beal. The two wrestled for what Madland now remembers as "forever."
Madland said that as they struggled his only thought was that he couldn't let Beal point the gun's muzzle at him again.
And then, seemingly from nowhere, more shots were fired.
LeBlanc had caught up with the chase, and fired three times at Beal, who was killed by two shots in his head.
Madland said that's when he "decompressed," and it started sinking in that he had been shot. He started losing consciousness.
LeBlanc was his "guardian angel," Madland said. "He's definitely my savior. He was put in that position for a reason."
A coroner's inquest jury ruled the shooting justifiable.
Madland underwent several surgeries and massive blood transfusions. Doctors say he bled out 12 liters, more than twice the average volume of blood in an adult. His femoral artery was destroyed, so doctors transplanted a vein from his left leg to his right groin. Even after his initial brush with death, he faced a possible amputation after his leg became infected.
Madland was released from UMC last May, both legs still attached. Surgeries left him with several scars, including an 18-inch scar from the top of his right kneecap to the top of his navel, and an 8-inch scar on his left leg where doctors took the donor vein. He suffered nerve damage throughout his right leg.
But he said he is fully recovered, thanks to months of physical therapy to regain strength in his atrophied leg. When asked if he could successfully complete strenuous police academy training again, he answered with a sly grin: "No doubt."
The shooting was trying for his wife of five years, Danielle, and their son, Tyler, 4.
Danielle Madland, a nursing student who works at Southern Hills Hospital, said that during the difficult week her husband was in a coma she would talk to him and hold his hand. He sometimes wept during those moments, she said.
She called his survival a "miracle" because so many people helped save his life, from fellow officers and emergency medical technicians to nurses and doctors.
Danielle Madland also said she fully supports her husband's intention to return to full duty on the streets, once again placing himself in harm's way.
"When he leaves me for the first time to go out on the street, I'm going to have my phone with me and call him all the time to see if he's OK," she said.
Madland said he eventually wants to get behind the wheel of a patrol car.
He said although the shooting has garnered much attention in the department, he is no different than anybody else wearing the badge.
"I'm not better or worse than any officer in this department," he said. "I just have one more shiny thing to put on my uniform."
That would be a Purple Heart, awarded last August by Sheriff Doug Gillespie.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638.