California sheriff's deputy donates kidney to friend's 3-year-old son
PALM DESERT, Calif. (NBC News) —
California sheriff's deputy Alicia Lopez and 3-year-old Matthew Castleberry have a special bond.
Deputy Lopez and Matthew's mom, Angelina, met 12 years ago when they were assigned to the Riverside County Sheriff's station in Palm Desert.
Angelina says they connected right off the bat, "Especially being the two only females you know out there sometimes, it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot from her."
Angelina resigned to care for her son. Matthew, a twin, was born with a kidney valve disorder and suffered many complications.
"He's lived off a machine since he was born," says Angelina, adding that in his short life he's had 14 surgeries.
Doctors told the family Matthew needs another kidney in order to live.
"The only way he would survive would be a transplant, so all we've ever done is pray for that kidney," says Angelina.
Angelina posted about their search on social media.
Without telling anyone, Deputy Lopez answered the call.
"The second she posted it on Facebook, I thought I'd give it a try to see if I was a match," she says.