When Police Officer Vadrien Alston’s kidney failed in 2021, her life changed — she had to spend long hours receiving dialysis, certain activities with her two children became nonexistent, yet she still went to work every day at Transit District 30.
Although she couldn’t participate in patrol, her career was so important to her that she fought through the heartache and continued to serve from her Brooklyn Headquarters.
While things looked bleak for Alston, hope was not lost. Sophia Jackson, a New York native who traveled to Maryland from Utah for work in December 2021, saw a news broadcast in her hotel room that showcased the NYPD officer’s dire situation. Not long after she saw the report, Jackson she decided to act and offer her kidney.
Despite Jackson’s drive to aid the officer, she discovered that her kidney was not a match for Alston — but their story did not end there.
The National Kidney Registry operates a unique voucher program that allows an individual to donate an organ and even though they may not be a match for the intended party; once donated, a voucher is issued allowing another person to receive a kidney. Jackson took advantage of this, donating one of her kidneys to the registry so that Alston could receive a voucher for a kidney of her own.
Thanks to this program, Alston was fast-tracked in order to obtain the life-saving surgery she so desperately needed.
At long last, on April 25, the two women finally came face-to-face in a deluge of tears at police headquarters. Alston immediately embraced Jackson, and while weeping repeatedly thanked her for the gift of life.
“I am totally indebted to her. My life after surgery has been spectacular. You have gained another daughter,” Officer Alston told her father, teardrops still flooding down her face.
Since the surgery, both women say they have been living their life to the fullest but had yet to meet one another, and after the emotional moment that saw them hugging for minutes on end, they were inseparable. The police officer told Jackson that she owes her life to her and presented her with flowers.
“I don’t know what it’s like to go through dialysis. This is the closest it’s ever been, and I am so sorry it took me that long,” Jackson responded.
After the tear-jerking meeting, Officer Alston whisked Jackson to Transit District 30 to meet her colleagues, where the station house joined in thanking Jackson.
Chief Operating Officer Michael Lollo of the National Kidney Registry hopes that people will be inspired by Alston and Jackson’s story, leading to more donations and more lives saved.
For more information about the National Kidney Registry visit: kidneyregistry.org