Local Deputy Gives Lifesaving Miracle to 3-Year-Old - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Local Deputy Gives Lifesaving Miracle to 3-Year-Old

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Palm Desert, CA -

Deputy Alicia Lopez and three-year-old Matthew Castleberry have a special bond.

Deputy Lopez and Matthew's mom, Angelina, met 12 years ago when they were assigned to the Riverside County Sheriff's station in Palm Desert.

Angelina says they connected right off the bat, "Especially being the two only females you know out there sometimes, it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot from her."

But Angelina resigned to care for her son. Matthew, a twin, was born with a kidney valve disorder and suffered many complications.

"He's lived off a machine since he was born." says Angelina adding that in his short life he's had 14 surgeries. 

Doctors told the family, to live, Matthew needs one more.

"The only way he would survive would be a transplant so ... all we've ever done is pray for that kidney," says Angelina. 

Angelina posted about their search on social media.

Without telling anyone, Deputy Lopez answered the call, "The second she posted it on Facebook, I thought I'd give it a try to see if I was a match."

In an unbelievable twist of fate, Deputy Lopez was a perfect match. 

"I didn't realize rare this was until she explained it to me over the phone," says Deputy Lopez.

"Out of the millions and millions of people she's actually a better match than I am and I'm his mom," says Angelina.

They can't believe they searched for over two years and the miracle they were praying for was beside them all along.  

"It was just like, oh my God we've been praying for you," says Angelina, saying that God had a purpose in mind when they met all those years ago.

Deputy Lopez, a mother herself, doesn't think about the risk to her own life, "I still don't see it that way ... people tell me it's a good thing I'm doing but when you see his face it's kind of hard to say no." 

After visiting the pediatric dialysis center with Matthew, Deputy Lopez says she only has one regret, "There's three other kids in there and all of them are on a transplant list waiting for a kidney and, I kind of wish I had more kidneys to go around so that I could help them all."

Angelina says Deputy Lopez has changed their lives forever, soon, they won't have to take trips to the dialysis center five times a week for over six hours at a time, "She's a true hero, she's our hero."

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