NYPD officers meet for 1st time after life-saving kidney donation

Kemberly Richardson Image
Thursday, December 9, 2021
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Kemberly Richardson with how the officers' story is inspiring others who are holding out hope for their own miracle.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A New York City police officer finally met the man who donated one of his kidneys so the cop could live.

It's been years in the making and the two officers finally met face to face on Wednesday..

"It's fantastic, I've met a family member now, so it's good," said Officer Tommy Alexander with the NYPD Harbor Unit.

NYPD Sgt. William Gaspari is the stranger who stepped up to the plate.

Fellow officer Tommy Alexander was in desperate need of a kidney, and at the time was undergoing four hours of dialysis three times a week.

His story was shared within the department and when Gaspari heard about it, he decided to explore becoming a donor.

"I figured I'd be one of many who signing up, turned out I was one of one," Gaspari said.

Through a voucher program with the National Kidney Registry, Gaspari donated in Alexander's name which meant he received a kidney already in the system.

Doctors performed the transplant December 30, 2020. But the story doesn't end there.

"There were at least two people who got transplants because of this, whoever Sgt. Gaspari's kidney went to, they had to have someone put a kidney into this pool," said National Kidney Donor Organization President Michael Lollo.

The pair's first meeting was special in many ways, but for yet another NYPD officer, it gave her hope during a very difficult time.

Right now Officer Vadrien Alston is experiencing stage 4 renal failure. The mother of two is hoping to find a match, but time is running out.

"I'm more or less determined the kidney is going to come," Alston said. "It would mean the world to me...it would give me a second chance at living life."

It's something Alexander is embracing. He is most looking forward to traveling with his daughter.

"Every place I go, I'll take her with me, she's going to tag along," he said.

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