— -- A Georgia police officer is recovering in an Atlanta hospital after receiving a kidney transplant from a stranger who was moved to donate the organ after reading a news story about the officer and his family.
Raleigh Callaway is recovering after undergoing a kidney transplant Thursday at Emory University Hospital, according to the Greensboro Police Department in Greensboro, Georgia.
The long-time police detective had been diagnosed with Stage 5 kidney failure earlier this year, meaning he would likely need a transplant to survive. As a last-ditch effort, Callaway -- along with his wife and young daughters -- posed for a photo this summer with his daughters holding a sign that read, “Our Daddy Needs A Kidney!”
After the photo went viral on social media, Chris Carroll, who is from McKinney, Texas, came across the story and was moved by it. After reading a story about it, he immediately called his wife to tell her he wanted to donate his kidney.
“He saw Raleigh’s picture and read the story and called me and said ‘I feel God is telling me to do this,’” recalled Carroll’s wife Veronica Carroll. “I said I don’t argue with God.”
Carroll was sent a test kit from Emory and found to be a match. Callaway and his family celebrated the news by posting a new series of photos with each family member holding a sign that read, “We found a kidney for daddy!”
Veronica Carroll said that when the two families both arrived at Emory earlier this month they instantly bonded.
“They’re saying ‘We don’t know how to thank you,’” Veronica Carroll said of Callaway and his family. “We already feel like we’ve got blessings form this. This is not a one way situation. We feel very blessed to be a part of it.”
“We’re family now,' she said, "we’re just family."
Chris Carroll is now recovering just a few doors down from Callaway and even managed to walk a few steps to visit the police officer, according to his wife.
“There was tears and happiness, it was a wonderful reunion,” Veronica Carroll said.