Tulsa Deputy Gives Gift Of Life To Mother
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - One of Oklahoma's Own is donating a part of himself so his mother can live. The Tulsa County sheriff's deputy and his mother are heading out of town soon to get a kidney transplant for her.
Captain Billy McKelvey, with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, said, "Everybody needs a kidney. There's people on the waiting lists every day."
McKelvey knew his mom was running out of time when doctors said her kidneys were failing. He wanted to donate, but doctors said his kidneys weren't a match. He said a fellow Tulsa County deputy, who is a transplant survivor himself, told him about a procedure at a Saint Louis hospital, which could make his kidney compatible.
"For the longest time we thought I wasn't going to be an option to give her a kidney, so we went to Saint Louis to be checked out by their doctor and everything's good," McKelvey said.
Doctors told McKelvey even though they don't share the same blood type, the mother-son relationship will keep his kidney from being rejected. McKelvey's mother is grateful doctors found a way for her son to give back.
"It feels good. He said, 'mom you fed me for 20-years, 18, 20-years, now it's time for me to take care of you and dad. So here we are," Elizabeth McKelvey said.
At any moment, deputies like Billy McKelvey face life and death decisions on the job.
"It's very, very, rare that a law enforcement officer gets to give this type," Billy McKelvey said. "I don't want to say a gift, but it is a gift of life."
His boss, Sheriff Stanley Glanz, said many of his deputies don't get an opportunity like this.
"So this is a case where he's not giving his life, but he's giving a great deal of risk to help his mom," Glanz said.
Mom is happy she'll have a kidney so she can continue to be a grandmother. She's not even thinking about the operation at this point.
"I'm not a afraid, I mean I'm very, very, blessed," Elizabeth McKelvey said.
It will take McKelvey's mom several weeks to get back to full health after the operation. The family hopes to be back in Green Country before the end of March.