By J.D. Miles

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — For 20 years, Jimmy Hollis has taught Dallas police officers how to use their weapons as an instructor at the department’s gun range.

At 6’5” and 230 pounds, his fellow officers call him “Robocop,” and the 54-year-old was well known for his speed and agility.

“He’s more fit than more officers younger than him,” says his wife, Robbie Hollis.

Recently Hollis’s heart started to fail, and he needed a pump to keep it beating. His wife and doctors worried he wouldn’t even live to see Thanksgiving without a transplant.

“The day before he had his LVAD implanted, he started deteriorating to the point we were worried he wasn’t going to make it to the transplant,” says Baylor heart surgeon, Dr. Gonzo Gonzalez.

But on Monday, surgeons at Baylor Hospital found a heart donor just in time.

From his hospital bed, Hollis recorded a video message to friends, who are eager to see him back in action on the force as the first active duty officer with a heart transplant.

“Every single officer comes through the firearms training center, and at some point Jimmy has touched every one of their lives,” says James Parnell from the Dallas Police Association.

Hollis’s wife says she is grateful for husband’s second chance at life and mindful that someone else lost his life to extend her husband’s. She says that donor will make Thanksgiving all the more meaningful this year.

Dallas police have established a fund to help the Hollis family pay mounting medical bills. Donations will be accepted at

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