By PoliceOne Staff
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego officer was in need of a kidney, and a perfect match was found within his own department.
KSWB-TV reports that SDPD Officer Art Calvert, who’s suffered from renal kidney disease for decades, has been waiting almost two years for an organ donor. His troubles would finally be solved thanks to the help of SDPD dispatcher Debra Ballard.
“Out of the blue, my guardian angel in blue came along,” Calvert said. “She tested without even telling me. Next thing I know, she calls me up and says, ‘Hey, I’m a match! When do you want to do this?'”
Working on a great story today! SDPD detective Art Calvert will get a donor kidney from PD dispatcher Debra Ballard. They’ve worked together for more than 20-years. She is truly giving him the gift of life! #nbc7 News at 4 & 5. pic.twitter.com/KaM48707fg
— Artie Ojeda (@ArtieNBCSD) January 30, 2018
Calvert became sick two years go and needed a kidney transplant. Word soon got out on social media, and when Ballard saw the post, something told her she needed to help.
“It just kept nagging at me, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get there.’ Something was pushing me, so I did and I’m like, ‘Well, if I’m a match, it’s meant to be,”’ Ballard said.
Calvert had to put off the surgery several times because he wasn’t healthy enough to go through with the procedure. The surgery is finally scheduled for Feb. 7.
Calvert said he was “overwhelmed” that Ballard would make such a serious sacrifice for him. The two have known each other for more than 20 years, but more as acquaintances than friends. They will now share a bond that means more than some would understand.
“Debra has given me something that I haven’t had for almost four years– I’ll get my life back,” Calvert said. “I’ve got a 15-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. That’s the hard part — to just get back to running around with them and being a dad again.”