San Diego

Heartbreaking Setback for SDPD Officer in Need of Kidney Transplant

Dispatcher Debra Ballard, 47, had offered to donate her kidney to SDPD Officer Art Calvert, 54, who has been in need of a transplant since before 2016

In a heartbreaking setback, doctors have called off the kidney transplant planned for a San Diego police officer just hours before the surgery was scheduled to take place.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer Art Calvert, 54, was poised to receive a donor kidney from SDPD dispatcher Debra Ballard, 47. The two have worked with the department for 25 years, respectively.


The transplant operation was scheduled to take place Wednesday morning.

The pair had undergone a final blood test on Monday and it appeared everything was going as planned. But, at the last minute, things changed.

Calvert posted the disappointing news on his Facebook page.

“I don’t know what to say right now. Just found out the final blood test Debra and I did yesterday turned up a positive reaction to my blood and we will not be able to do the transplant due to possible rejection,” wrote Calvert.

The police officer has been in need of a new kidney since before 2016. Calvert has previously received donor kidneys from his mother and sister.

Last week, Calvert and Ballard held an emotional news conference at SDPD Headquarters to announce the upcoming transplant. Ballard was found to be a match in 2016, but medical complications delayed the transplant.

Now, there will be even more waiting.

“So I am back at square one. I’m a little bummed right now so give me a few days to get my smile back,” Calvert wrote in his Facebook post. “I will be fine and want to say I’m overwhelmed with all of your posts today. Sorry I let you all down. But I will be back stronger than ever. It’s all in God’s hands.”

The news that doctors would not be performing the procedure came as a major surprise. In fact, earlier in the day Calvert had posted about his excitement for a new start.

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