San Diego police officer getting a second chance with kidney don - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego police officer getting a second chance with kidney donation

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A San Diego police officer is getting a second chance at life-saving surgery.

Officer Art Calvert will finally receive a new kidney Thursday, six months after a heartbreaking setback.

Earlier this year Art had a kidney donor lined up, then the match fell through.

"I don't know how to thank him enough," said Art. "I'm giddy. I'm ready to go and get it out there and be a spokesperson also."

Art, who played professional baseball before joining the SDPD, has suffered from renal kidney disease since the 1980s.

He's undergone two kidney transplants - one from his mother, another from his sister - that ultimately, didn't work out.

Then, in February longtime dispatcher and friend Debra Ballard stepped forward to offer hers, but just days before the surgery, doctors determined she wasn't a match.

That's when Art's former supervisor, Pat Vincent stepped in.

"He deserves this break, just like so many other people do," said Pat.

Without Art's knowledge, Pat got tested months ago to see if he could be Art's donor. He wasn't a match either, so doctors at UCSD offered another solution called a paired exchange.

If Pat was willing to donate his kidney to a stranger it would bump Art to the top of the waiting list.

As a result, a match for Art was found in Colorado and he was informed earlier this week.

"So by Pat donating his kidney to someone tomorrow, one person will receive a kidney from Patrick [and] I'm getting a kidney from another donor," said Art.

Art, who has two children, still undergoes dialysis ten hours a day and says receiving a new kidney will be life changing.

"I'm gonna be a dad again, you know," he said. "I'm gonna be a whole man, running around, and enjoying life."

While Pat doesn't want the recognition, Art calls him a superhero and a brother in blue. The two will be bonded to for life.

"Now it's a different type of bond," said Art.

Art's surgery is expected to take place at 1 p.m.

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