Kansas City, MO – A Missouri police officer has saved a life, after his was taken in the line of duty. A Springfield, Missouri cop – who is paralyzed – received a kidney from the Independence, Missouri officer that was killed just months after graduating from the police academy.
Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, 22, was shot and killed on Wednesday by a suspect. He was an organ donor, and just days later his kidney was given to Springfield Officer Mark Priebe. He was intentionally struck by a vehicle in June 2020 which left him paralyzed. His kidneys began to fail in June and he began dialysis in July.
His family was told on Friday that Madrid-Evans kidney was a match and the surgery was performed in St. Louis on Saturday.
“I am forever grateful to Officer Madrid-Evans and his family for providing this direct donation,” Priebe said after awaking from surgery. “I truly believe God had his hand in this and it's been difficult to comprehend why I am allowed to continue to live, and this young, brand new officer had to pay the ultimate sacrifice. I hope that I can honor him and his family by the way I live my life."
Priebe is a father of two and a 21-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department. His wife, Heather, noted that they day he received the kidney was "National Thank A Police Officer Day."
“We are still emotional from this whole situation, as you can imagine, and this is part of our journey that you cannot make up," Heather said. "Mark has once again been given a second chance, thanks to a member of our thin blue line family. We hope we have the opportunity to meet Officer Madrid-Evans’ family in the near future and we pray for them as they navigate through the days ahead."
Madrid-Evans began his career with the department at the Kansas City Regional Police Academy in January and graduated in July. The suspect who killed him is Cody L. Harrison, 33.