Phoenix police officer responds to unique call, donates kidney to little girl
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix police officer went above and beyond the call of duty in a unique way — by giving a 10-year-old girl a kidney.
Officer Jackie Ravelo decided to help out a family friend, Becky Kopp, whom she met playing recreational softball a couple of years ago. The two stayed Facebook friends, where Kopp would post updates about her daughter Lily, who suffers from a medical condition.
Kopp poured her heart out to family and friends about Lily’s condition in one Facebook post. Lily desperately needed a new kidney after her condition caused her kidneys to fail. Lily had a kidney transplant in the past but was unsuccessful.
Ravelo said as a parent of three daughters, she knew she needed to help Lily. “For me, I think a lot of it had to do with me being a mom. ... That kind of hit home to me because I have three girls,” said Ravelo. “Just seeing somebody, especially somebody so young going through so much that most adults don’t have to deal with.”
Ravelo said Kopp was surprised when she told her she wanted to donate her kidney to Lily. “I think it was kind of a shock for her, like ‘Are you serious?’” said Ravelo. “They were all very grateful.”
Ravelo says the process took a few months, after multiple tests, to confirm she was a match for Lily. “For me, it was a really long, drawn-out process. I was like, ‘OK, let’s go. Let’s do it tomorrow,’” said Ravelo. “I never had any doubts. For me, whatever risks they inform you about were minimal for me to where the benefits outweighed the risks.”
The surgery was successful, and Ravelo and Lily met after the operation. Ravelo credits Lily, saying the young girl is strong and mature for her age despite her medical issues. “Seeing this little 9, 10-year-old girl have to deal with all that and seeing those posts, I don’t know how you could just keep scrolling and not feel this tremendous urge to help,” said Ravelo.
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