Miami-Dade Police Officers Diana Castillo and German Alech were not friends, but they knew each other from the department.
With more than two decades in the force, not long ago Alech was an instructor in a course she took. They found out that both were going to be grandparents for the first time, without imagining that they would be linked by something much more significant.
Officers Castillo and Alech came together when she offered to donate him a kidney he needed to survive.
“When the email went out through the department (…) and they told me he needed a kidney. I said, ‘where do I go,’ and I went that same day.”
Alech, 47, had received the shattering diagnosis that he had a genetic condition leading to kidney failure and requiring a kidney transplant to save his life.
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“When he was diagnosed, I thought it was the end of the world for us,” Olga Alech, German’s wife told Miami News7. "We prayed and prayed, and I have a lot of faith,” she said.
Castillo’s family, particularly her mother, who is Cuban, had serious concerns about her daughter donating one of her kidneys. Castillo is 46 years old.
Castillo’s mother asked her, What if your other kidney stops working?
Castillo’s answer was simple. “We have a big family, he doesn’t have that luxury. His family has the genetic issue. Can I live with that on his conscience?”
The transplant took place at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Aug. 31. Castillo left the hospital in two days, Alech in four.
The two will need eight weeks to recover and are both looking forward to years ahead with their respective grandbabies.
Castillo’s grandson’s name is Noah and Alech’s granddaughter’s name is Olivia. "Noah is little Olivia’s boyfriend," Castillo said, giggling.
“What can you tell the person who is going to give you a second chance at life?” Officer Alech told News7. “Through my career, I’ve saved a lot of people’s lives as she has. We saw it as part of our job and to serve the community. Little did I know one day I would need somebody to save my life,” he said.
Castillo calls her now good friend Alech, who is also of Cuban descent, “the sweetest person.” He’s always been a cordial sweet person. He needed help. I just asked what does he need and did it,” she said.
Rebekah Sager is a writer and editor for FoxNews.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager.