SDPD officer gets new kidney donor match

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego police officer is about to undergo a kidney transplant thanks to a fellow officer who is donating an organ to save his life.

With Mayor Kevin Faulconer and fellow officers by his side, officer Art Calvert announced Wednesday that he will undergo kidney transplant surgery Thursday.

"We wanted to keep things on the down low until we finally got the OK, and here we are," Calvert said.

Retired officer Patrick Vinson made it possible, but he's not the actual donor. As it turns out, out he wasn't even a match. But he decided to donate a kidney anyway.

"Pat went in and tested," Calvert said. "He wasn't a match to myself so UCSD spoke with him and asked if he would be willing to give his kidney to someone else, which would actually help me also."

The process is called match pairing or chain donation. When someone donates in your name, you're moved up the list onto a national registry that pairs donors across the country.

"Pat is donating his kidney tomorrow," Calvert said. "One person will receive a kidney from Patrick, I'm getting a kidney from another donor, so there's going to be a process of about four to six different people who are going to get transplants tomorrow."

If successful, this will be Calvert's third kidney. Just five months ago, he got to this point with another colleague -- a police dispatcher -- but the surgery was canceled at the last minute due to a medical condition. This time around, he's being much more cautiously optimistic.

"I don't want to get too excited," Calvert said. "Come see me afterward, I'll put it that way, and then you'll see an even bigger smile on my face."

But he admits he's ready to get back to a normal life.

"I'm going to be a dad again," Calvert said. "I'm going to be a whole man and running around and enjoying life. So it's a whole new life for me that I'm looking forward to starting tomorrow."

Calvert's donor is a man from Colorado. Surgery is slated to take place Thursday morning.