UPDATE: Hero Deputy and Lifesaving Kidney Transplant

News Staff

Loma Linda, CA

Doctors at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital are monitoring two special patients after a kidney transplant operation they completed on July 31, 2017. And they are praising the gift Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Alicia Lopez gave to her former colleague’s three-year-old son.

Angelina Caslteberry has been cradling her son Matthew trying to comfort his post operation anxiety, still, she feels as if she’s holding her son for the first time. She’s been praying for a kidney for her son Matthew since he was in her womb with his twin sister. 

Doctors gave them no hope for him to live without a kidney transplant. After 14 surgeries and several failed matches dialysis sessions grew longer and more frequent. Little did she know her former coworker, who she worked with at the Palm Desert Station before resigning to care for her son, would come to his rescue, Lopez turned out to  be the rare cross match, an even better match than Matthew’s own mom.

Dr. Michael E. de Vera, the surgeon who performed the lifesaving operations and director of the transplantation center at the Loma Linda hospital says he feels honored to be a part of a selfless gift, "Matthew’s donor, to me she’s the hero in all of this and we’re lucky and privileged to be able to take part in this whole endeavor to help out Matthew." 

Matthew was playful before the surgery as if he knew something special was about to happen and as his mom Angelina prayed for angels to surround him, he gave a peaceful smile in his sleep as if her prayers were heard.

 And while the days after the surgery are tough, they don’t lose sight of just how blessed they are to have been walking alongside their angel all along, "

"We wish for Matthew to have a speedy recovery so that he can go home to his family," says de Vera adding that the other important part of this story is the need for organ donations both living and deceased. He says Southern California has the longest wait time in the country. 

Matthew’s family is grateful for the community’s support and has asked for continued prayers.

If you want to help with their medical expenses, click here: Matthew’s Miracles

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