Mom Saves Life of Police Officer She Never Met Through Kidney Transplant

A mother of two heard the story of an out-of-state police officer who desperately needed a kidney transplant and she knew she had to help.

“Ryan Armistead, an officer with the Old Monroe Police Department in Missouri, found out four years ago that his kidneys were failing,” according to Liftable. After receiving the call that he needed to go to the hospital for being at 13% kidney function, Armistead found out he had an autoimmune disease that attacked his kidneys. He started dialysis immediately and was placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, being told it could take up to seven years before a match was available.

Fox 2 News reported that “for two years, Armistead underwent treatments in a dialysis center where he spent four hours a day, three days a week.” Suffering with his kidney failure, Armistead remained positive and continued to work with the Old Monroe Police Department to protect his community.

“So, we just look at it as five to seven years of a bump in the road before we can go back to a normal life,” he said.

After his wife set up a Facebook page and a GoFundMe account to help combat the $30,000/month treatments, things started looking up for Armistead.

Abbie Dunkle, a mom of two from Illinois found Armistead’s story and knew she was the one to help. Dunkle had been willing to be a kidney donor for many years, Inside Edition reports.

“When a dear friend died 19 years ago and her organs were donated, Abbie ended up meeting the man who got her friend’s kidney. Ever since she has wanted to bestow that lifesaving gift to someone else.”

After finding out the two were a match, Dunkle messaged Armistead on Facebook, according to the screenshot posted on Inside Edition:

“Hi Ryan, My name is Abbie and a few months ago your news story showed up on my facebook feed and I started the process to see if I might be a match for you. I finished the process last week and we are a match! I was told today that your transplant coordinator should contact you next week to tell you, but I figured you may not want to wait that long to find out. If you are not wanting to be in touch, I completely understand and you don’t need to respond unless you’d like to. Please don’t feel obligated, but I am happy to get to know you before the transplant if you’d like.”

Receiving the life changing message Armistead said, “I literally fell to me knees and broke down in tears. So did my wife.”

The two families were able to meet and bond prior to the surgery. Dunkle and Armistead, who “hit it off”, went into surgery on January 22 in St. Louis. Dunkle feels honored to have helped this perfect stranger, “it’s amazing to me that a piece of me is living in his body.” The two have recovered perfectly fine and reportedly “feel great” after the surgeries.

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