Phoenix Police Officer Jackie Ravelo went far beyond the call of duty by donating her kidney to a young girl in need.
Ravelo first saw a Facebook post from a former softball teammate, Becky Kopp, who announced that her 10-year-old daughter Lily needed a kidney transplant. Lily suffers from a condition that caused her kidneys to fail and previously underwent an unsuccessful kidney transplant.
Things were not looking optimistic until Ravelo reached out to help.
“I wasn’t even asking for anybody; it was purely just explaining the emotions that I felt,” Kopp said.
Ravelo then set out to get tested, which was a lengthy process.
“For me, it was a really long, drawn-out process. I was like, ‘OK, let’s go. Let’s do it tomorrow,’” Ravelo said. “I never had any doubts. For me, whatever risks they inform you about were minimal for me to where the benefits outweighed the risks.”
As luck would have it, the results confirmed that the officer was a match as a donor.
Ravelo, a mother herself, was happy to sacrifice a kidney to save the girl’s life.
“I have three daughters, and you kind of put their face to that, and you know I can’t imagine the pain that Becky felt and wanting to make things better or do something that can help her,” Ravelo said.
The surgery was a success, and Lily finally got a new kidney – and second a lease on life – after months of waiting for a transplant.
Lily Kopp was surprised but grateful that she received such a gift through a single message on Facebook.
“What I’ve been through, to have someone help me just through Facebook, I think I was very surprised. I can’t express how meaningful it is and how amazing it is and how priceless it is. As a mother to a mother, you saved my baby,” Kopp told Ravelo.
Lily and Officer Ravelo were not able to meet right after the surgery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but when they did meet, Ravelo was touched by the girl’s strength and maturity.
“Seeing this little 9, 10-year-old girl have to deal with all that and seeing those posts, I don’t know how you could just keep scrolling and not feel this tremendous urge to help,” Ravelo told AZfamily.com.
Ravelo explained that it was her natural desire to serve the community as a police officer that motivated her to do the good deed.
“I can speak for all officers that, you know, you want to help everybody, and you want to solve problems, and sometimes you can’t, so to me, it was just simple. How could I not do this?” Ravelo said.