A veteran Pittsburgh police officer diagnosed with kidney disease has found a match for a kidney transplant following a miraculous meeting with a generous stranger.
Pittsburgh law enforcement and community members gathered in support of Officer Jeffrey Crawford after hearing the news that Sonya Brown, a stranger to Crawford, had decided to answer his prayers for a lifesaving donor kidney. Crawford shared the emotional journey during a press conference held outside the City-County Building on October 25, which was officially declared “Jeffrey Crawford and Sonya Brown Day” by Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey.
A dedicated public servant with 30 years on the job, Crawford had been diagnosed with kidney disease after what seemed like an ordinary visit to the doctor.
“I went in for a routine checkup, and three days later, I was in the emergency room,” he recounted.
The sudden news forced Crawford onto dialysis and into a long wait for a suitable kidney donor. For two years, he continued to serve his community, even filling in for fellow officers when needed.
A pivotal moment occurred this summer when he was asked to work a detail at a local church. The pastor of the church knew of Crawford’s health struggles and, during a prayer session, he felt a divine message. That is when Crawford met his future donor, Sonya Brown.
“The congregation prayed over me, and after he prayed, I went back to my security booth,” Crawford recalled. “After the service was over, Ms. Brown came back there and said that while they were praying for me, God came to her and said that she was going to donate her kidney.”
Brown was moved by this spiritual encounter to get tested as a potential donor. Within months, she reached out to Crawford with heartwarming news: she was a perfect match.
“Remember I told you God has this, I’m your donor, Jeff. And we’re going to be together forever,” she said.
Their transplant surgery is scheduled for November.
The community has rallied behind Crawford and Brown, not only celebrating their remarkable story but also raising awareness about kidney disease. City employees, including Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto, gathered to assemble 200 care packages for dialysis patients in honor of the duo.
The National Kidney Foundation, also present at the event, recognized Crawford’s resilience with a kidney pin and bestowed Brown with a hero pin, celebrating her generous act.
The foundation also used the occasion to promote awareness of kidney disease, encouraging people to assess their risk through a one-minute questionnaire.