KOMO viewers come through in big way to help paralyzed officer

SEATTLE -- Since he was 5 years old, Mark Sigfrinius had a dream to be a police officer. But he never dreamed he'd cheat death so many times.

"I've used up 10 or 11 of a cat's 9 lives," said the now 65-year-old retired Seattle motorcycle officer.

When Sigfrinius was a teen he beat botulism.

"I got botulism from eating a bologna sandwich," he said. "The first case in Idaho in a hundred years."

And he's survived two shootings. In 1971, Sigfrinius was handling a trespassing case at a yacht club.

"There was a scuffle," his wife Priscilla recalled. "They grabbed his gun, hit him over the head and it went off at the same time."

The bullet went under his skin at the back of his head and came out the front. There was a lot of blood but Sigfrinius was back on duty after a few days.

The bullet that struck his chest in 1989 during a traffic stop was not as forgiving. It left Sigfrinius paralyzed. Now 25 years later, he is suffering pressure sores and some money struggles he was too embarrassed to share.

"We had some money saved up, $32.50 in our savings account," he said.

Sigfrinius needed a new water line in his yard, a new roof, and a new floor, and couldn't afford them and was reluctant to ask for help.

His adult children leaked the family's problems to the KOMO 4 Problem Solvers, and KOMO viewers donated $12,250 to help the paralyzed officer.

Sigfrinius was shocked.

"Very seldom am I speechless but this is amazing," he said holding the hefty check. "People of the Northwest are the best."

He said the fact that people still care about what he endured in the line of duty 25 years ago "kind of took away a little of the embarrassment."