Calif. correctional officer to donate kidney to lieutenant in need of transplant
The two men will undergo concurrent surgeries that could extend beyond four hours in April
By Sarah Roebuck
LOS ANGELES — When a 27-year-old California State Prison correctional officer heard a colleague was in need of a kidney transplant, the officer stepped forward with an extraordinary offer.
For more than a year, Lt. Salvador Bermudez, 41, has battled kidney failure and was put on a transplant list, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. Bermudez, fighting for his life, had been hospitalized four times throughout the past year due to complications.
Juan Ruiz, 27, heard about Bermudez’s condition and stepped forward to offer one of his kidneys.
Following a comprehensive process involving interviews, medical examinations and psychological evaluations, Ruiz remained dedicated to his offer. The outcomes were remarkably favorable, revealing a match in blood and tissue types that paves the way for a critical, lifesaving surgery.
“I hope people realize the department is more than just co-workers. We are family and my family has been very supportive,” Ruiz said.
The two men will undergo concurrent surgeries that could extend beyond four hours in April, CDCR said.
CDCR said understanding the seriousness of their circumstances, a catastrophic time bank has been established to aid them through this crucial time.