SAN DIEGO – The San Diego police officer and the police dispatcher who volunteered to give him her kidney talked Friday about their disappointment that the surgery will not take place.
Dispatcher Debra Ballard was scheduled to donate a kidney to Officer Art Calvert on Wednesday, but the surgery was called off a day earlier after tests showed Calvert's body was likely to reject the organ.
"I tried to go into my rabbit hole and just hide and didn’t answer my phone and text and ya know a lot of crying and things," said officer Art Calvert who soon had a change of attitude after talking to a friend and fellow officer battling heart cancer.
“I’m like what the heck am I’m crying about. I’m alive I just need a kidney he’s terminal so I put my big boy pants on and say hey lets go what do we do next."
Calvert has had 14 blood transfusions in the last year and most of the antibodies in his blood have changed during that time. As a result, his blood no longer matches Ballard as it did 18 months ago, when the two originally tested as compatible for a transplant.
“ I was shocked and I was pretty much just heartbroken for him," said Ballard.
Calvert said Friday he is now back to square one in the search for a compatible kidney donor, but he is trying to keep his spirits up and hoping that a matching donor will come forward.
"For those who know their blood type, I can take A or O blood type," he said. "I'm registered with UCSD in San Diego on their donor list."
To donate specifically for Calvert, donors will need go the the UCSD kidney donation website and enter Calvert's name and date of birth: Arthur Calvert, 10/11/1963
Ballard urged people interested in donating not to wait.
"That process takes five or six months to get tested and make sure you are a good match. I hate to see him wait any longer."