Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy Alicia Lopez has been waiting for this moment for almost two weeks.
"Hi buddy!" she says with a big smile on her face.
The moment she gets to hold little Matthew Castleberry for the first time after doctors put her kidney inside of him, saving his life.
"Oh my goodness, hi buddy I missed you," says Lopez as she hold him and kisses his face.
But this moment was two years in the making. She secretly got tested to see if she was Matthew’s match after her former coworker Angelina posted a plea on Facebook. Doctors told the family he would not survive without a transplant. After 14 surgeries and several failed matches they held on to hope and prayed for a miracle. Turns out the answer to their prayer was there all along. Deputy Lopez was a perfect match. Her mentor became her son’s guardian angel.
"You are my son’s guardian angel," says Angelina as she hands Lopez a figurine of a guardian angel.
The perfect gift, to mark this special day. Both are out of the hospital and doing well. Matthew is responding well to his new kidney and staying at the Ronald McDonald House where he can be close to the hospital for checkups.
Angelina had another surprise for their hero. A day at the ball park with her favorite team, the L.A. Dodgers.
Deputy Lopez says the surgery was worth the sacrifice, "As far as donating a kidney it’s not that hard it’s a little tough, you get some scars that you don’t like but that’s okay, you know but you also get to see that face you know of him living life and being himself now."
Her prayer is Matthew lives a long healthy and happy life and, "To play baseball … for the Dodgers of course."
To donate to their medical You Caring page: Matthew’s Miracles