San Diego

SD Police Detective “Has His Life Back” After Kidney Transplant

His old supervisor wasn't a match for donation, but still got him his new kidney

One San Diego Police detective is recovering very well and says he has his life back after a kidney transplant earlier this month.

“I’m vibrant, I’m bright, I’ve got energy to burn,” Art Calvert said. “It’s just a total transition of what a kidney transplant can do.”

Calvert has been living with kidney disease for over 20 years. In 2013, his most recent transplant failed.

“I was on dialysis when my kidney failed and I thought I’d only be on it for a year,” Calvert said. “It ended up being four-and-a-half, almost five years.”

That’s when his old supervisor on the force, Patrick Vinson, tried to donate his. But they weren’t a match.

Thankfully for Calvert though, Vinson was able to donate his kidney to someone else in Calvert’s name. 

That donation moved Calvert to the top of a national donor list. The move is called a “paired exchange.”

“He’s definitely worth it. If you know Art, then you know that anything I went through is nothing compared to the benefit that Art got,” Vinson said.

On July 12, doctors successfully transplanted the kidney of a 30-year-old Colorado man into Calvert. Vinson’s kidney was also successfully removed and sent to a different American in need.

The success of the paired exchange has the two sharing their story, in hopes of inspiring more organ donors.

“The superheroes are really the nurses and doctors that make this happen not just for Art, but for so many other people,” Vinson said. “That’s why we’re here, to get that message out.”

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