Georgia officer released from hospital after kidney transplant

Updated:

Loading

ATLANTA, Ga. - A Georgia police officer who received a kidney transplant after a viral campaign was released from the hospital today.

Raleigh Callaway, a veteran investigator with the city of Greensboro Police Department, was in stage 5 kidney failure when he began searching for a living donor. Callaway used social media to share his story and it went viral, reaching people across the country.

Related Headlines

Callaway shared photos on Facebook of his daughters holding a sign saying, “Our Daddy Needs a Kidney.” Channel 2 Action News viewers shared Callaway’s original story more than 45,000 times.

Chris Carroll, from McKinney, Texas, saw Callaway’s story on TV and said he knew immediately it was something he needed to be a part of. Carroll says he was moved by the story and the pictures of Callaway's children. 

"When I saw Raleigh's story, saw pictures of the girls and everything, and it hit me," said Carroll. "That's what kind of surprised me a little bit, there was never a doubt. I mean, it's like if my own dad needed a kidney -- that's how strongly I felt."

“He saw Raleigh’s picture and read the story and called me and said, ‘I feel God telling me to do this,’” said his wife, Victoria Carroll. “I said, ‘I don’t argue with God.’”

Carroll was sent the original test kit, and after finding out he was a potential match, he called Emory to move up his testing and drove himself to Atlanta. Carroll says he knew the urgency of the situation and wanted to finish the testing sooner than later.

Early in September, Carroll and the Callaways met for the first time at a restaurant in Atlanta. A few days later, they found out Carroll was the match they had been waiting for.

“They’re saying, ‘We don’t know how to thank you,’” said Veronica Carroll. “We already feel like we’ve got blessings from this. This is not a one-way situation. We feel very blessed to be a part of it.”

Thursday, the men both underwent surgery to transplant the kidney. The surgery was successful and since then, both men have been recovering.

Callaway says the words"thank you" don't seem strong enough to say.

"I'm just speechless," said Callaway. "It happened so quick."

Friday, Callaway was up out of the bed and walking down the hallway.

Callaway’s wife, Kristi, says his lab tests are looking good.

Carroll left the hospital Saturday. Kristi says he walked himself the entire way to the car.

“Praise God for the healing that has occurred for both of these extraordinary men,” Kristi posted on Facebook.

Carroll says he may have lost a kidney, but he gained much more.

"Raleigh's my brother now, and I consider them part of my family now," said Carroll.

Callaway says he is grateful he can continue working, taking care of his family and living life.

"Amazing to have someone just be able to understand where you're coming from and what life is about," Callaway said.

The doctors say Callaway should take another six weeks to three months recovering, but then can go back to work.

<div id="fb-root"></div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1472306616367666&amp;id=1443955469202781" data-width="466"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1472306616367666&amp;id=1443955469202781">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Our-Daddy-Needs-a-Kidney-Team-Callaway/1443955469202781">Our Daddy Needs a Kidney-Team Callaway</a>.</div></div>