Phoenix officer gives 10-year-old girl another chance at life with a kidney transplant
PHOENIX — Jackie Ravelo knew she’d be giving back to the community when she signed up to be a Phoenix police officer, but her commitment to serving her fellow citizens turned out to look a little different — and sacrificial — than most.
When a former recreational softball teammate, Becky Kopp, posted on Facebook that her 10-year-old daughter, Lily, needed a kidney replacement, Ravelo reached out to help.
“I wasn’t even asking for anybody; it was purely just explaining the emotions that I felt,” Kopp said.
In a stroke of good fortune, Ravelo turned the family’s curveball into a home run for the girl’s future. Ravelo got tested and came back a perfect match as a donor and ended up saving the girl’s life by giving her a kidney.
“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 after one failed kidney donation and months of waiting, Lily finally got her kidney.
“What I’ve been through, to have someone help me just through Facebook, I think I was very surprised,” Lily Kopp said.
Lily and Officer Ravelo weren’t able to meet until two years after the surgery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.
Both Lily and Ravelo are living normal healthy lives.
“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.