By Carolyn Gusoff

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County police officers cheered a colleague Monday as he was released from the hospital.

Officer Christopher Racioppo was stabbed during a traffic stop and critically injured on April 10 in Patchogue, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

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He was hospitalized for more than a week after a major artery was severed in his leg, causing blood loss.

It was the moment many hoped for, but feared would not come. Officer Racioppo headed home from Stony Brook University Hospital after being stabbed by a fleeing perpetrator.

It was a hero’s reception for a cop who very nearly didn’t survive.

“I’m happy to go home. A lot of doctors and nurses to thank. Thank you,” Racioppo said.

Racioppo, 31, was saved by quick, decisive thinking.

He was gravely wounded while pursuing an erratic driver who crashed and fled on foot. The driver plunged a knife deep into his leg, severing a vital artery.

Good Samaritans helped stop the bleeding.

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“If not for the circumstance being laid out the way it was, with the individuals taking the action they did, there is no doubt in my mind he would not have survived this incident,” said Noel Digerolamo of the Suffolk PBA.

A retired cop, current cop and a veteran sprang into action

“We really didn’t know whether he was going to make it or not. So today was really a fabulous day,” said Guillermo Sandoval, one of the good Samaritans.

“A perfect storm is usually used in bad context. This is a perfect storm in an entirely different way,” said J. R. Recupero, who also helped Officer Racioppo. “It’s so positive that I can’t believe it. I’m just really happy that we were all there and we all did the right thing.”

“I’m just ecstatic that Chris is on his way to a full recovery,” said Officer Taylor Herbst from Suffolk County Police.

Racioppo was on life support for ten days. His major leg muscles were cut.

“Chris essentially bled out his entire blood volume. Chris was in the most severe form of shock and he literally had minutes before his cells shut down,” said Dr. James Vosswinkel from Stony Brook University Hospital.

There’s a long recovery ahead, but also much to look forward to. Officer Racioppo and his fiancee, an ICU nurse at the same hospital, are expecting a baby.

“I’m grateful he’s coming home,” said Brittney Cunningham.

He put his life on the line and says he will continue to serve after his recovery.

Racioppo was a three-year veteran of the NYPD before he joined the Suffolk Police Department three years ago.

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Police arrested 25-year-old Jonathan Nunez in the case. They say he tried to evade arrest for driving while intoxicated.

Carolyn Gusoff