MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A Minneapolis Police officer battling lupus and kidney failure received a life-changing transplant this week.
Carlos Escobar, 35, is recovering at Hennepin County Medical Center. He spent two years on a waiting list for a kidney donation.
After working a full day as a police officer, he would come home and spend seven hours on dialysis, hoping and praying a donor would come through.
"I never expected it to be too soon because they told me with my blood type, it could be seven years," Escobar said
With no matches in his family, a friend convinced him to post his story on Facebook.
"I had no expectations," he said.
He did so reluctantly, and less than two weeks ago he got the call that changed his life.
"I didn't know what to say. My jaw just dropped," he said. "I was almost in tears, you know. I couldn't believe it."
College student Sebastian Rivera was a match. The 20-year-old from Rogers had never met Carlos, but saw his post on Facebook and decided to get tested.
"I have two kidneys and he needs one, so why not," Rivera said.
He admits he had reservations.
"I just did it because it was the right thing," Rivera said.
For Carlos, it was the answer to his prayers.
"I still can't believe it. It's a great gift to say the least," Escobar said. "I will have a better opportunity now to live longer, you know, to enjoy the things that I like to do as a normal person."
Rivera is taking time off from school to recover, and Escobar is hoping he'll be well enough to go back to police work in a couple of months.
Both wanted to share their story in hopes of raising awareness about organ donation.
Click here for more information about HCMC's organ and tissue donor program.
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