A pair of retired police officers already bonded by the field will now be joined for life after one was found to be a perfect kidney donor match for the other, and they delivered the good news with a clever homemade card.
“So I heard urine need of a kidney,” Megan Ambrose wrote to her former Montgomery County beat partner, Stanley Barsch. “Want mine? Turns out that we are a perfect match… Not only on the job but in blood and organs too. You always had my back on the road and off. Now you can have my kidney.”
Ambrose delivered the good news on Feb. 14, which also happens to be National Donor Day. She also informed Barsch, who has been suffering from polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and that they are set to go under the knife on May 14.
“My kidneys are right now the size of two NFL footballs,” Barsch, a father of three boys, told WTOP. “They’re about 15 to 20 pounds apiece.”
PKD is a genetic disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys. It changes the shape of the kidneys and makes them larger, reducing the organ’s function and possibly leading to failure. It can also cause high blood pressure, cysts in the liver, and problems with blood vessels, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Barsch had turned to Facebook in December to spread the word about finding a donor. He said he first learned he had the disease in 2002 after seeing if he was a donor match for his mother, who also suffered from the disease. He shared that he was in stage 5 renal failure and that he has an O blood type, which is when Ambrose sprang into action.
“I knew her blood matched, but I had no idea that she was a 100 percent match,” he told WTOP. “It’s unheard of for someone other than a sibling. It is amazing and no doubt godsend.”
Video of Barsch’s emotional reaction was shared on Facebook, where it quickly gained thousands of views.
He told WTOP that he’s in the care of Georgetown University Hospital surgeons, and that his doctor actually performed his mother’s kidney transplant 15 years ago as well.