KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — One year after he was shot in the face by a suspect, retired Kernersville police officer Sean Houle is trying to make a difference in the lives of others. 

His story is now inspiring others across the country. He’s been spending more time with his family and his K-9 Jax, who also retired alongside him. 

“It was like a gut check…first of all, you’re still here, and you shouldn’t be from a medical standpoint,” Houle said. 

That’s how the one-year anniversary of the shooting that landed Houle in retirement feels for him. 

On Feb. 21, 2021, Houle was trying to make an arrest when a suspect took his gun and shot him in the face and hand. 

“If it’s ever quiet, it’s bad at night especially when I go to sleep. It kind of just shows up and kind of just plays out,” Houle explained. 

The one constant reminder of his accident was removed a couple of weeks ago in surgery. 

“It’s been in my neck up until two-and-a-half weeks ago…a big 45-caliber bullet that was still pretty much altogether,” Houle said. 

But the pain from numerous surgeries and the flashbacks from the night’s event are what have carried him to what he calls “God’s plan.” 

He now has a new purpose: telling his story about his brush with death to other officers at different police departments around the country. In fact, he just came back from a talk in South Carolina. 

The class is called “Leading in the Trenches” where he goes around to different police departments to tell his story. 

“The story is a big part of it because what we’re also trying to instill is that life is short, and we need to really be intentional about where we place things in order in our life,” he said. 

To celebrate his one year of a new life, he’s holding a blood drive event on March 3 where you can donate blood, enjoy live music and eat good food.

It will be at First Christian church in Kernersville located at 1130 N. Main Street. 

“You can look at that bag knowing that that bag right there is going to save someone’s life one day. It saved mine, and I needed it,” Houle said. 

You do have to sign up at redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code: Sean Houle. 

You can read our full coverage of Sean’s inspiring recovery here.