San Diego

SDPD Officer Getting New Kidney Thanks to Former Supervisor

San Diego Police Department officer Art Calvert is once again poised to receive a donor kidney, months after a scheduled transplant was canceled just hours before surgery.

And once again, a police department co-worker is coming to his aid.

“I’m thankful. I’m lucky. I keep asking myself, 'Why me? Why am I privileged to have so many people help me?” said Calvert.

Calvert’s transplant is possible because of now-retired SDPD Officer Patrick Vinson, who was once Calvert’s supervisor. The pair also worked together on the police beach team.

Vinson is donating one of his kidneys. However, it will not be given to Calvert because the two are not compatible.

Instead, the two are part of a paired exchange program. Vinson’s kidney will go to a compatible match somewhere in the U.S.

His selfless decision moved Calvert from a regional donor list, to a national list. A donor for Calvert was found this week.

Calvert is set to receive the donor kidney of an anonymous 30-year-old Colorado man.

“Patrick is just a hero. He’s very unassuming, quiet, a gentleman. Everyone loves him and I can’t believe he’s done something like this for me,” said Calvert.

“I have so much, I have everything going my way and thought this is just isn't fair so let’s see if this will work,” said Vinson

Calvert’s surgery is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Hours earlier, Vinson’s kidney will have been removed.

“I've got a plethora of emotions, I want to jump up and down and scream, but I know after last time, I don't want to get too excited until things have really have been set in stone,” said Calvert.

Calvert was poised to receive a donor kidney from SDPD dispatcher Debra Ballard, 47, back in February but the procedure was canceled abruptly because doctors feared he would reject her kidney.

The two have worked with the department for 25 years, respectively.

Both encouraged others to become donors.

“My message is if you can’t donate to your family or friend, donate to someone else in their name and help others get things rolling and put someone else back on their feet,” said Calvert.

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